Senator Baldwin Tours Waterfront, Still time to “Stuff the School Bus”, Come together for the Community Picnic

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Senator Baldwin Waterfront Tour Builds on Passage of Waterfront Development Bill

I had the honor last Wednesday of joining U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin when she toured our Wisconsin Rapids waterfront and the Tribune Community Accelerator Project.0720Baldwinvisittribune

During her close-up look at our waterfront potential, the Tribune Community Accelerator Project site and Lowell Center, Sen. Baldwin discussed with us her Waterfront Community Revitalization and Resiliency Act, which passed the Senate on July 14. The bill calls on the Secretary of Commerce to support community efforts to attract water-dependent industries and investments that leverage water sustainably, revitalize neighborhoods, and enhance recreation and tourism. The bill is now in the U.S. House of Representatives for final consideration.

DSC_6654Sen. Baldwin’s waterfront legislation could help our $9.5 million riverfront redevelopment plan move closer to reality. As the senator pointed out, government agencies can provide resources that many small communities cannot generate by themselves.  This viewpoint aligns with that of our local civic leaders, who have recognized that our redevelopment must include multiple funding sources.

For example, $672,000 has been awarded by the DNR to the riverfront enhancement project and our Downtown redevelopment initiatives have twice within the past year been recognized by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation with more than $600,000 in grant funding.

Sen. Baldwin’s support of our efforts to make the most of our waterfront shined through in her praise for the special assets our community provides in terms of people and natural resources. She noted how inspired she was by the Tribune Building project, from the perspectives of the breadth and depth of the vision for this downtown site, and the degree of public engagement that has helped to shape and accelerate the realization of that vision.

We look forward to following the progress of Sen. Baldwin’s bill as it now makes its way through the U.S. House of Representatives, with a view to making access to grant money a major part of the final legislation.

UnknownVideo of Tammy Baldwin’s visit.

Still Time to Join in “Stuff the School Bus” Drive to Help Area Students

2015-08-06 12.06.08The United Way of Inner Wisconsin’s “Stuff the School Bus” event is just a week away … but there is still time and opportunities for individuals and organizations to do their share to help ensure that children have the tools to pursue the precious gift of education. Volunteers make it happen!

Bring your donations to the annual “Stuff the School Bus” event  during Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce’s Lunch by the River on Thursday, August 4, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. During that time, a parked bus will be “stuffed” with donations of school supplies. Monetary donations are also accepted.

Through August 4, you can also purchase school supplies and bring them to organizations throughout the area that have been maintaining collection sites in lobbies, entryways or break rooms.

This annual drive provides much-needed school supplies for south Wood County students whose families who are in financial need. Eligible students will be able to pick up their school supplies at “Stuff the Desk,” which will be held Saturday, August 13, at Lincoln High School.

For more information on how you can help area youths get a leg up on a successful future, please contact Amy Fluno at United Way of Inner Wisconsin at 715-421-0390 or amy@uwiw.org.

Celebrate the Unity of Community Next WednesdayScreen Shot 2016-07-27 at 3.43.50 PM

Everyone is invited to join family, neighbors and friends along the Riverfront next week, for the 5th Annual Community Picnic.  You and yours can enjoy food offerings from local restaurants, beverages and family entertainment – including live music, kids’ inflatables and a petting zoo – on Wednesday, August 3, from 4:30 to 8:00 p.m.

We thank Incourage Community Foundation for conceiving and investing in this great event, to help realize its vision of a community that works well for all people. Deep gratitude also goes out to individual residents, nonprofits and businesses, who generously donate time and material resources to help to make the Community Picnic an opportunity for our residents to come together as one.

So, bring your lawn chairs or picnic blankets Downtown next Wednesday evening. For more information, call: 715-423-3863.

I hope to see you there!

Thanks for reading,

Mayor Zach Vruwink

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