Community Update: City Honored to Host Statewide Sustainability Initiative Meeting; Polling places change



City Honored to Host Statewide Sustainability Initiative Meeting

img_0050The City of Wisconsin Rapids was given the honor this past Monday of hosting a gathering of public and non-government officials from across the State, focused on a vision closely aligned with our own: nurturing a healthy community in which residents today and in future generations can thrive and prosper.

As the newest member of the Green Tier Legacy Communities Charter, it meant a lot for Wisconsin Rapids to be the site for this quarterly meeting.

The Charter brings together Wisconsin communities, nonprofit organizations and State of Wisconsin agencies in a partnership that provides participating communities technical assistance for developing and implementing sustainability measures, and acts as a single point of contact for communities to share success stories and best practices. By collaborating, participants are able to move further and faster toward their sustainability goals. Other nongovernmental partners also provide technical assistance.

img_0057Wisconsin Rapids Community Development Director Adam Tegen and I shared how our Downtown Revitalization and Riverfront Redevelopment initiatives contribute to wellness as we plan to enhance and create trails for walking, running and other activities. Our partners from the Healthy People Wood County Initiative and forming Healthy Living Hub, a regional collaborative focused one health outcome- childhood obesity, shared how our community is coming together in new ways to improve health and sustainability.

After an overview of health issues in the State of Wisconsin, attendees then considered the concept of “Health in All Policies” (HIAP) – discovering the practical ways some local governments have incorporated community health into the way they create and execute policies; determining what HIAP could mean for establishing local priorities; and envisioning how we can apply the HIAP framework to our current projects.

By emphasizing achievable benchmarks and raising public awareness, the Green Tier Legacy Communities program parallels our City’s efforts to advance the concept of sustainability. This undertaking goes beyond the traditional focus on environmental issues, important as these certainly are. Sustainability also encompasses who we are and what we represent as a community that is devoted to the well being of all those who may live, work and visit here.

Beyond the aforementioned partnerships and development initiatives, our local results are evidenced in a number of ways:

  • New recreational trails and bike lanes that inspire fitness and exercise; and
  • Adoption of single-stream recycling collection that promotes safe and efficient disposal of recyclable materials, diverting more product from landfills.

The Green Tier Legacy Communities program offers us an exciting opportunity to continue pursuing sustainable quality-of-life outcomes both locally and in collaboration with other communities, and help accelerate our transformation into a preferred destination for prospective employers, workers and tourists.

Take Note of Voting Changes as You Exercise Your Precious Right 

The month of February is fast approaching – and with it, another opportunity to exercise your precious right to help select your City’s leadership.

screen-shot-2017-01-25-at-11-18-11-amOn Tuesday, February 21, the position for State Superintendent of Public Instruction will be the only item on the primary ballot. The general election on April 4 will consist of local alderperson seats in odd-numbered districts in Wisconsin Rapids. Alderpersons Joe Zurfluh (District 1), Scott Kellogg (District 3) and Steve Koth (District 5) will run unopposed. Candidates Darren Brinegar and Thaddeus Kubisiak will compete for the District 7 seat being vacated by Jim Stack.

This year will usher in a few changes in voting locations. Due to security concerns, polling places will no longer be located at public school sites. Updated locations are as follows:


  • Wards 1-10, 22 and 23 vote at the Centralia Center, 220 3rd Avenue South, Wisconsin Rapids.
  • Wards 11-21 and 24 vote at Woodlands/Crossview Church, 1000 East Riverview Expressway, Suite 120, Wisconsin Rapids.

Polling places will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. To locate your ward, contact the City Clerk’s office at 715-421-8200, or visit and click the “Find My Polling Place” tab.

Watch a video explaining the new voting locations, here.

Remember: You must be registered to vote. Residents may register at the City Clerk’s office at 444 W. Grand Avenue, any time, or at the polls on Election Day. Eligibility requirements for voter registration and additional voter information available, here.

Voters who are confined to home by illness or age, or who cannot get to the polls on Election Day may obtain absentee ballots at the City Clerk’s office. Absentee ballots must be applied for in writing, and can be cast only at the clerk’s office.

Play your part in the electoral process … cast your ballot this February and in the general election this spring.

Mark your calendars for March 15, for the League of Women Voters Candidate Forum held at Wisconsin Rapids Community Media for candidates running in District 7. 


Thanks for reading,

Mayor Zach Vruwink



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