Community Update – Fireworks, Rapid Improvement and Street Re-Opening

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Rapid Improvement Anniversary            

rapidimprovement all employee
Last Wednesday, I joined City employees for an all-employee Rapid Improvement report-out meeting.  The meeting marked almost exactly one year from the launch of the Rapid Improvement initiative, where we began our training in process improvement.  Since then, I am pleased to note we’ve trained over 25% of all city employees in the fundamentals of process improvement. Our training was done through a partnership with MSTC and funded with assistance from Workforce Advancement Training state grants.

The meeting served as an opportunity for our organization to recognize the progress that city rapidimprovement all employee1
project teams have had with individual improvement projects.  In the year since we launched the initiative, 8 project teams have been established to work on projects ranging from examining the special assessments process, the efficiency of monthly brush pickup, business inspection process and even the Library’s book check-in/shelving process.   At the meeting, each team reported-out on their respective project for certification purposes, as well as to inform all employees on the finer details of their project, including the “problem statement,” working team, current state and proposed improvement(s).  Finally, there was a round-table discussion which invited those who have participated in the training to reflect and discuss their training experience.

Since the essence of the Rapid Improvement initiative is continuous improvement, projects will continue to be started and completed with varying degrees of impact. An internal steering team has scored employee-submitted projects to be worked on in the near future. Residents, too, may submit potential improvement projects by contacting me.

In many ways the progress has and will continue to be inspiring. I applaud the Council for their forward thinking approach in approving funding to supplement costs of training not covered by grants, and also thank all employees who approach the training with an open mind and continue to carve time out of schedules to participate in improvement project work.

Every day, we show up for work with the opportunity to not only do our jobs, but also make a significant impact on how we improve processes within our organization. I’m happy with the progress we’ve made thus far in the initiative and look forward to continuing our journey of undertaking meaningful projects to improve our operations and the services we provide to our residents.

Roundabout Opening 

roundabout2Last Thursday, a ribbon cutting was held to formally open the roundabout at 1st Street and Market/Baker Streets. We are very pleased not only to have a new $1.6 million construction project in our community, but also to bring in a solution that gives a safer, more efficient roadway, replacing traffic signals. Safer and more efficient roadways are not only important for residents to get to and from where they are traveling to, but also for businesses. I hope the new street and infrastructure project here will result in additional development near the project.

The landscaping of the roundabout is a project that members of the Mayor’s Council on roundaboutBeautification have been working on. Beyond the beautification elements, we are also pleased to see additional enhancements to Mead Rapids View Park and the introduction of a recreational trail to be enjoyed by enthusiasts of all varieties. Like any new road construction project, it will take some time to get used to, but we are very excited to have one more street for those in the community to safely travel to get from point A to point B.

July 4 Fireworks Display

This Friday, July 4, we celebrate America’s Independence Day.  With that, each year, people from around Wisconsin visit Wisconsin Rapids to view the spectacular fireworks display.  The fireworks display is an excellent example of our community coming together- from area businesses, municipalities, individuals and organizations contributing funds for the display, to the extraordinary effort that our local area Teen Fireworks Committee undertakes each year to secure the funds to ensure that our community continues the tradition of having one of the best 4th of July fireworks shows in Wisconsin!  Find one of the many Teens to make a contribution at the show!

This year’s display is sure to be one of the best yet, so bring your family and friends to the beautiful waterfront of the Wisconsin River to view the show.  The event begins at approximately 9:30PM and may be viewed along most of the riverbank.  The event will also be simulcast on FM 105.5 WRCW and AM 1320 WFHR.  For more details on the event, click here.

Pizza With the Mayor

This Wednesday, July 2 from 5:30-6:30pm, I will be holding my first evening visitation session at the Ridges.  Dubbed “Pizza with the Mayor,” these sessions are intended to be a similar variation to the morning Coffee sessions I’ve been having.  While I plan to rotate Coffee locations and times, at the suggestion of many, evening sessions are being held to accommodate those who would like to meet in a similar fashion to the morning session but cannot make it work with their schedule.  To date, each of the coffee sessions have been terrific, with great questions posed and excellent suggestions made, many of which I have taken back to the office!

Have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July holiday!

Mayor Zach Vruwink

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