Community Update – City awarded DNR Stewardship grant; Aquatics offering study update; Housing Needs/Assessment Questionnaire deadline

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Community Update – City awarded $545,974 DNR Stewardship grant; Aquatics offering survey update; Housing Needs/Assessment Questionnaire deadline

Wisconsin Rapids awarded DNR Stewardship grant

I am excited to announce that we were successful in our pursuit of a DNR Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program grant in the amount of $545,974! This grant makes a bold statement toward supporting our long-range East River Bank improvement project. We will strategically apply these grant funds to the first phase of the improvements, currently under consideration.

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 10.21.02 AMThe Wisconsin Legislature created the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program in 1989 to preserve valuable natural areas and wildlife habitat, protect water quality and fisheries, and expand opportunities for outdoor recreation.

As residents of this community, we should all be proud that the State of Wisconsin has chosen to award Wisconsin Rapids this grant. Our selection strongly indicates that our plans for growth, development and prosperity in the Downtown Waterfront District are recognized far beyond our borders.

Answer the call for Aquatics Survey

Due to the well-documented challenges of reopening Mead Pool for another season in 2016, your City leaders are looking to you, our citizens, to help guide us toward the best course of action to meet our community’s recreational aquatics needs.

To gauge your thoughts and desires, the City will conduct a telephone survey about Mead Pool and other potential aquatic facilities in Wisconsin Rapids.  Scheduled to begin the third week of January, the survey will call randomized households in Wisconsin Rapids as well as an online survey will be available.

We hope that this survey will inform and drive the decision-making process, by providing insight into the community’s aquatics needs in terms of facilities and programs; the amount of money people would be willing to pay for a new aquatics center; and views on collaborating with partners.

Options under consideration right now include:

  • Build a new pool at a cost of $3.5 to $5 million, while considering installation of splash pads in neighborhood parks; and/or
  • Partner with the South Wood County YMCA to construct a regional public aquatics center.
  • Options to consider both within a reasonable amount of capital expenditure.

To further ensure public input, we will also conduct focus groups and a community forum. In the meantime, I encourage residents to “answer the call” and give voice to their feelings when called by a survey representative. We plan to report Initial survey results in February.

Reminder: Residents invited to complete Housing Needs/Assessment Questionnaire

If you live, work, and play in the City of Wisconsin Rapids and surrounding communities have not yet had the opportunity to complete and submit the housing study and needs assessment, please take a few minutes to do so by the deadline January 22. We truly seek as much citizen input as possible in order to accurately identify how our existing housing stock meets current housing demand and what changes may be necessary to meet future needs.Housing Survey I strongly encourage residents to please take 10-15 minutes to fill out the survey, which you can access by clicking web link: http://goo.gl/U0McEm.

While electronic surveys are preferred, paper copies also are available at various locations in and around the Wisconsin Rapids area.

For more information, please call 715-421-8225.

Mayor Zach Vruwink

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