Season’s Greetings, Help Map Our City’s Future with Your Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan Input



Season’s Greetings

chirstmas-lightsThe Christmas season is a time when we can gather with our family and friends in bonds of peace and harmony. This is also a time when we share the gifts of generosity and good cheer.

So, as you experience all the happiness this most wonderful time has to offer, let us also this season reflect on all our fellow citizens who volunteer their time to offer moments of grace and comfort to others throughout the year.

I also want to thank City staff for all their hard work throughout the year to make this a better place for all of us to work, live and play.

To each and every resident of the Wisconsin Rapids community, I wish you blessed and joyous holidays.

Help Map Our City’s Future with Your Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan Input


Image Source: Bicycle Transportation Alliance

One of the blessings of the Wisconsin Rapids area is its bounty of natural resources, ideally suited for a wide range of recreational activities. Now, with a few clicks of their fingertips, residents in our community have an opportunity to help determine how to enhance bicycling and walking amenities both here and throughout the 10-county north central Wisconsin region.

The North Central Wisconsin Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan offers an interactive mapping activity that allows participants to provide input on a map about bicycling and walking in the north central Wisconsin region.

You can log in with an email address or anonymously. Route markers allow you to pinpoint routes you like to ride or walk, where you think improvements are needed, or where you would like a path to be created. Point markers allow you to highlight destinations, conflict points and areas where bike parking is needed. Using your email address at login enables you to return to the map and edit your input at a later time, or receive project updates.

Your contributions to this plan can also help the Wisconsin Rapids community prioritize funding, and obtain grants for bicycling and walking improvements.

In addition to Wood County, the North Central Wisconsin Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan takes in Adams, Forest, Juneau, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Portage, Oneida and Vilas counties.

I encourage our citizens to take advantage of this unique way to map our City’s future.

Thanks for reading,

Mayor Zach Vruwink



Join Santa, Staff and I for City Hall Holiday Open House, Share Your Neighborhood’s Christmas Spirit



Celebrate the Most Wonderful Time of the Year at City Hall

holiday-partyAs we move deeper into the season of joyous tidings and good cheer, we invite all local residents to join us on Monday, December 19, for our annual City Hall Holiday Open House. This festive event will take place from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m., in the Lobby of City Hall, at 444 W. Grand Avenue.

You’re invited to make your way through City Hall, visit each City department, and learn more about how we serve you and fellow citizens throughout the year. In addition, you and your family will experience a guest appearance from Santa Claus. Mayor’s Youth Council members have also decorated city hall with coloring’s done from schools in our city.

To help share the traditional spirit of giving, we ask that you please consider bringing a donation of food, toys or cash for local food pantries; the Wisconsin Rapids Firefighters Association’s 48th annual Toy Project; The Family Center; and the Boys & Girls Club of the Wisconsin Rapids Area. By doing so, you and yours can take home a complimentary photo with Santa.

Share Your Neighborhood’s Christmas Spirit via our App

As we have come to expect each year, Downtown Wisconsin Rapids is aglow with a lively array of Christmas lights this holiday season.

img_0836Now, I invite all residents to do their part to place holiday cheer at their neighbors’ fingertips. Share your own holiday-season experiences, by “pinning” your photos of Christmas light decorations online, via our SeeClickFix app, a reporting application for you on your Smartphone.

Since its introduction, SeeClickFix has enabled citizens to conveniently submit neighborhood concerns from their Smartphone, the Wisconsin Rapids website, in person or over the phone. These issues are then sent automatically to the right official, with the right information, to get the job done – while keeping you in the loop all the way with clear, understandable updates.


Reporting App.

Sharing your unique images of the season via SeeClickFix is a great way to become more familiar with this valuable online resource … while spreading cheer to family, friends and neighbors.
So, as you drive around this year and take in the festive atmosphere, look for opportunities to create memorable impressions. See, click and post – with your Smartphone.

Mayor Zach Vruwink


Our Riverbank’s next phase, Property Tax Bills Mailed Tomorrow, City’s Recycling Program Taking Shape



Wisconsin Rapids Riverfront to Begin Next Phase

02_ph1_inviteI am happy to share more exciting news happening in Wisconsin Rapids. I invite you to join us and the Riverfront design team kick off final design for phase 1 and two of the Riverbank Project. This event will take place at the Hotel Mead Grand Ballroom C, Wednesday, December 14.

The public event will kick-off at 6 pm with a meet and greet reception, along with light refreshments for residents to see exhibit boards about the project.  The main event will be a presentation by Taewook Cha of Supermass Studio  at 6:30pm.

Taewook Cha of Supermass Studio will be providing the current state of the Riverbank project and a road map of the project.

Property Tax Bills to be Mailed Friday

The coming of year’s end reminds us of the blessings of families and holidays. We also are reminded of our shared commitment to ensuring that our community has the resources to meet the essential service needs of its citizens. Property taxes play a major role in fulfilling that commitment.

Friday, December 9, our Finance Department will mail property tax bills to Wisconsin Rapids property owners.

Payment deadlines are January 31, 2017 for full payment or the first Installment; April 30 for the second installment; and July 31 for the third Installment (balance).

To ensure that taxes are collected on time, the City enables residents multiple ways to conveniently make their payment:

  • Pay via the Internet by credit or debit card, or by an electronic check (American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa).
  • Deposit payment in the drop box located outside of the Police Department at City Hall, 444 W. Grand Avenue.
  • Mail check(s) to the Finance Department-Tax Collection, 444 W Grand Avenue, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495. The envelope must be postmarked before the full-payment or installment dates of January 31, 2017, April 30, 2017 and July 31, 2017.
  • Pay in person at the Finance Department-Tax Collection on the Third Floor of City Hall, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

As we celebrate this holiday season, let us also celebrate our ability to work together to keep our community strong, and to build for a more prosperous future.

For more information on tax collection through the City, here.

City’s Recycling Program Taking Shape

containers1The long anticipated changes to our recycling program will be instituted soon! New recycling carts will be delivered as soon as tomorrow and Saturday with Monday’s East-side routes. It is anticipated that delivery will be completed by Friday, December 16th.


Recycling Video

The carts will be dropped of at the curb of each residence and will be the responsibility of the homeowner to bring them to the house. If you are not going to be home that week, please make arrangements with a neighbor, friend or family member to take the cart up to the house.  If suitable arrangements cannot be made, call the City Garage to make alternative arrangements at 715-421-8218.

All recyclable items will be able to be co-mingled and placed inside the new recycling cart beginning January 9, 2017.   The recycling collection will remain as usual on a bi-weekly schedule.

Thanks for reading,

Mayor Zach Vruwink


Celebrate the Holidays at Historical Museum “Christmas Tree Walk”, Council on Beautification Spearheads Sharing of the Spirit Downtown, Legion Park Picnic Grove Begins Taking Shape



 Celebrate the Holidays at Historical Museum “Christmas Tree Walk”

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-10-09-40-amThis is the time of the year when one of our area’s great treasures helps us to celebrate the holidays.

Starting this weekend, the South Wood County Historical Museum adds a festive note to the season, during its annual “Christmas Tree Walk” event. You can wrap yourself in an atmosphere of warmth and good cheer, on Saturday and Sunday, December 3 and 4, from 12 noon to 4 p.m.; Friday, December 9, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday, December 10, from 12 noon to 4 p.m.

The museum will come alive with themed Christmas tree arrangements, holiday table decorations and special Christmas collections, provided by local organizations and individuals. Live vocal and instrumental music, and complimentary refreshments will also help to convey the holiday spirit.

This event also provides an opportunity for residents and visitors alike to experience the rich history of our community, through a wealth of exhibits highlighted by vintage displays, photos and documents.

So, take time with friends and family to take in “Christmas Tree Walk.” This event is sponsored by the South Wood County Historical Corporation, the Mayor’s Council on Beautification and through a grant from Incourage. The museum is located at 540 3rd Street South in Wisconsin Rapids. For additional weekend events, visit this link.

Council on Beautification Spearheads Sharing of the Spirit

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-10-32-33-amVisitors to our Downtown area this year have been able to experience even more of the season’s spirit than usual. Thanks to the leadership of the Mayor’s Council on Beautification and our local Yard & Garden Club, and generous donations from businesses and individuals, several streets in the heart of our City have been brightened by the addition of colorful floral balls – or, as they are often described, “kissing balls.”

Purchased from local tree farms, these hand-made floral creations were installed just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, on November 21. They can be viewed on 1st Street from East Jackson to Oak Street; 2nd Street from East Jackson to East Grand Avenue; and Oak Street from 2nd to 4th Streets.

According to Council on Beautification member Sue Wesley, the council’s desire to do something “special” during the holidays received a supportive “push” from a local merchant, and the (kissing) ball started rolling from there.

Thanks and appreciation also go out Public Works- Streets division staff, whose positive response to this idea affirms their ongoing efforts to make the City of Wisconsin Rapids a better place in which to live.

Legion Park Picnic Grove Plans Take Shape

dsc_7339Thanks to the generosity of businesspeople and private donors, fixed picnic tables and grills will soon be set up to create a scenic picnic grove at Legion Park. This is hopefully just the first step in an ambitious and creative proposal by Heart of Wisconsin 2014 Leadership Class members to strengthen an older neighborhood, while at the same time enhancing our riverfront trail system.

These community leaders viewed the former east-side pool site on 1st Street as a beautiful space that was woefully underutilized. After the group presented its plan to the Park and Recreation Commission, the Commission approved moving forward with the project and agreed to provide matching funds up to $11,000. At its November 2 meeting this month, the Commission approved matching funds for the purchase of park tables, in the amount of $9,206. The tables will be delivered this winter. A formal dedication will occur in Spring.

While the picnic grove is a welcome development for Legion Park and for the surrounding community, the Leadership Class envisioned even more for the area, with the support of the City. As a result, concrete pads will be poured for a patio stage/amphitheater in the southwest corner of the park, as a site for acoustic musical performances. This facility will be located inside the recreational trail. This concept is similar to park amenities found in Eau Claire’s Phoenix Park and Wausau waterfront.

The potential recreational opportunities offered by the Legion Park site, along with the recent opening of Le Chateau, The Manor Bed and Breakfast, at 840 1st Street North, should inspire all of us to consider how the living experience in a neighborhood can be enlivened and upgraded.

Thanks for reading!

Mayor Zach Vruwink