Community Update – Tribune Building, Neighborhood Clean-Up, and Final Alarm Ceremony



Tribune Building Project

Last month officially wrapped up the facilitated, resident-led meetings for the Tribune Building Project, marking the collective work of over 700 residents and more than 4,400 hours over 10 meetings.  At that meeting, accomplishments were shared, and updates were given to the group for moving forward.

10653348_739279782806657_2300626559641749664_nDevelopments often impact areas beyond the specific parcel. The Tribune Building redevelopment is no exception.  With this site surrounded by vacant and underutilized parking lots both city and non-city owned, the area has much redevelopment potential. Our City’s fathers and past administrations worked to develop a foresight to the future use of downtown property, with plans dating back to the 1990s (1996 Plan, 2007 Plan, 2009 Plan). By way of timing, over the past few years, we’ve seen pieces pulled out of these plans and brought to fruition. There are also steps we can take to ensure additional elements of these plans, invested in and adopted by residents through Council approval, see the light of day.

As we’ve now hit a milestone as a community with the Tribune Building Project, the time has come to bring residents together for another meeting around options and alternatives for future development around the Tribune Building.  The next meeting will be this Tuesday, October 14 at 5:30PM at the Centralia Center.  The meeting will continue the generating of ideas and dialogue that build on previous meetings, but also begins a discussion around future development choices. If you missed last month’s meeting, I highly encourage you to attend Tuesdays, and make your mark on this unique redevelopment on our riverfront.  Cannot make the meeting? I welcome your feedback.

Final Alarm Ceremony and Procession

Last weekend, over 250 residents and visitors gathered at the Wisconsin State Firefighter’s Memorial to 5810612_f1024attend the annual Final Alarm and Roll Call Ceremony.  The event featured a memorial service to honor the firefighters who have died in the line of duty in the State of Wisconsin.  The names of all fallen firefighters listed on the Memorial Wall were read along with ringing of the Memorial Bell for each.  Additionally, two names of firefighters who died in the line of duty over the past year were recognized and added to the 280 names already etched in the memorial wall.  Governor Scott Walker joined Saturday’s event and issued an Executive Order instructing all Wisconsin flags be flown at half-staff in memory of firefighters who died in the line on duty.

In addition to the Final Alarm and Roll Call Ceremony, Saturday evening, a Final Alarm Procession was held to honor firefighters who gave their lives in line-of-duty deaths.  Each year, it’s a tremendous honor for Wisconsin Rapids to be the permanent host of the Wisconsin state memorial.  The Final Alarm Ceremony and Procession are a great opportunity for residents to experience and be reminded of how special it is to us and remember those who have given their lives to keep our communities safe.  A video of the Ceremony, captured by RCCA, can be viewed here.  A video of the procession captured by members of WRPD can be seen here.

Witter Field Planned Changes/Improvements

IMG_7931With the Rafter’s season concluded, City staff have been meeting with representatives from the Wisconsin Rapids Rafter’s organization to plan for structural maintenance and improvements to Witter Field during the off season.  The grandstand is an asset and therefore requires ongoing maintenance. Exposure to the elements necessitates treatment of rust and other issues. As a result, the grandstand will receive some new color. While the cranberry color will remain on the stairs, a darker grey will cover the floor. The benches and ceiling will remain the same.

As the proud home of the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, we have an IMG_7936interest in investing in Witter Field, as an asset that increasingly plays an important role in our community and with the residents and visitors of Wisconsin Rapids.  The painting of the grandstand is just one of several important investments taking place in the off season to ensure the vibrancy and historic part of our community remains for generations to come.

Ward 1 Fall Cleanup Event

This Saturday, volunteers and members of the Ward 1 Neighborhood Group will get together for Ward 1’s Fall Cleanup Event.  Slated to be a “maintenance event,” Saturday will see volunteers and property owners assist their neighbors with raking, leaf pick-up and general upkeep to properties in the area.

Ward 1 CleanupThe event will begin at 8:00AM and participants should meet at the shelter at the newly renovated St. Lawrence Playground (10th Ave. N. and Fremont St.).  Volunteers are encouraged to bring gloves (if they would like to have them), and a rake if they have one.  For further details or clarification on questions about Saturday’s event, please contact Kathy Rash, Ward 1 Volunteer Coordinator.  I am proud to see the ongoing resident-led work being done to help beautify our neighborhoods.  I plan to be there, and hope to see you Saturday!  


Thank you for reading,

Mayor Zach Vruwink



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