Community Update: Youth Council unveils Municipal Zoo Master Plan, survey results, City hosting open house for Zoning Rewrite, County Drug Task Force invites you to “A Path Towards Progress” 



Youth Council unveils Municipal Zoo Master Plan, survey results

Community Development Specialist Madelin Petz shares information along with the Mayor’s Youth Council on the Wisconsin Rapids Municipal Zoo master plan during a Parks and Recreation meeting on March 14.

When a generous benefactor last year provided $300,000 toward improvements to the Wisconsin Rapids Municipal Zoo, members of the Mayor’s Youth Council, led by Community Development Specialist Madelin Petz, put their energy into helping to develop a formal master plan process to guide future investments and improvements.

To help shape that process, they wanted to hear the thoughts of families in the community to prioritize future projects and programming at the Zoo. So, last month, the Youth Council helped create a brief survey to gather feedback and thoughts from local residents. With survey results in hand, Madelin and members of the Youth Council at the March 14 meeting of the Parks & Recreation Commission.

I am pleased to say that the community responded in grand fashion: In just 3 weeks, the survey yielded 638 responses, with 68 percent of respondents saying that they had visited the Zoo some time during 2017. Respondents also offered their ideas for improvements in animal exhibits, play/exhibit features and programmed activities. This input was invaluable, as was evident from the Master Plan elements the Youth Council presented to Commission members.

Many thanks to Madeline and the Mayor’s Youth Council for their ongoing efforts to create and enact an enhanced and advanced vision for a true community treasure. And thank you, our citizens, for making your voices heard!

City hosting open house for Zoning Rewrite Monday, March 19th

Click on the photo above to learn more about the zoning code project.

The City of Wisconsin Rapids invites residents, business owners and other interested persons to learn more about the new proposed zoning code and potential amendments to the City’s comprehensive plan, during an open house on Monday, March 19.

People can drop in at the All Purpose Room of McMillan Memorial Library, 490 E. Grand Avenue, anytime from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The Planning Commission will use the input received at the open house to prepare a final draft. A public hearing will likely be scheduled in April or May to accept formal input on the final drafts.

When completed, the new zoning code will be integrated into other land-use regulations as outlined in the City’s comprehensive plan and be internally consistent, with no overlapping or contradictory provisions. The comprehensive plan will provide a 20-year vision and rational basis for local land use and economic development decisions.

You can find the proposed zoning code here. For more information, contact Adam Tegen, Director of Community Development, at 715-421-8225.

We look forward to seeing you!

County Drug Task Force invites you to “A Path Towards Progress”

The Wood County Drug Task Force invites all concerned residents and their young ones to attend “A Path Towards Progress: What’s been happening in our community to address the drug epidemic?”. This special program takes place on Wednesday, March 21 at McMillan Memorial Library, 490 W. Grand Avenue, in Wisconsin Rapids.

Law enforcement officials will be on hand to discuss and answer questions about local drug trends; efforts to support individuals and families affected by substance abuse; and community resources available for local residents who need help.  

The event includes a free meal and childcare.

You can register, here. For more information, contact Ashley at 715-421-8923

Thank you for reading.

Mayor Zach Vruwink



Community Update: Exercise your right to vote this spring, Community survey results in, Nominate a volunteer!



Exercise your right to vote this spring

Beginning Monday, March 12, 2018  you have the opportunity to help select your governmental leaders by exercising your right to vote in “Early Voting” at City Hall, which last until March 30, 2018.  Eligible residents can cast their ballots in person at City Hall, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.  You can also wait until election day on April 3, 2018 to vote too.

Take advantage of this uniquely American opportunity to make your voice heard. Exercise your precious right to choose your elected representatives this spring!

City of Wisconsin Rapids:

Elections for Mayor, Clerk, City Attorney, and Alderpersons from even-numbered wards are held in April. School District, County and nominees for State offices also are elected.

If you’re interested in learning more about the City candidates running in the spring election you can watch a forum scheduled for March 14 at 6:30 pm at the Community Theater located in the Centralia Center.  The forum is also broadcasted ‘LIVE’ on  Wisconsin Rapids Community Media’s (WRCM) website at’s Facebook Page, Solarus Cable Ch. 3 or Charter Spectrum Ch. 985.  You can also engage in the event by calling in a question for the candidates to answer at 715-423-0443 during the forum.

LWVWR School Board candidate forum Wednesday, March 14th at 6:00pm  – Community Theater

LWVWR County Board candidate forum Tuesday, March 13th at 6:30pm – Wisconsin Rapids Community Media studio

Absentee Ballots:

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.

City of Wisconsin Rapids voting sites are located at:

  1. Wards 1-10, 22 and 23 – Centralia Center – 220 3rd Avenue South
  2. Wards 11-21 and 24 – Crossview Church – 1000 East Riverview Expressway – Suite 120

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.

Registration Required:

To register, you must have a Wisconsin driver’s license or a photo ID with your current address. Residents may register at the City Clerk’s office in City Hall at 444 W. Grand Avenue, any time, or at the polls on Election Day. Eligibility requirements for voter registration and additional voter information are available here.

Community survey results to be shared!

With your help, nearly 4,000 residents took part in Incourage Community Survey.  The survey results give us an outlook on what’s on community members’ minds, their desires.   Next week, Incourage will be hosting a public event to learn the results of the survey and where residents see challenges and opportunities. Please join in to be a part of planning a path forward for our community on Tuesday, March 13, 6pm at the Wisconsin Rapids Performing Arts Center.

If you have any questions please contact Incourage at 715-423-3863.

Nominate a volunteer!

Do you know a volunteer who goes above and beyond the call of duty?  Nominate them!  During the United Way’s Volunteer Breakfast on April 17, 2018 volunteers who have been nominated will be honored.  This is a great opportunity to spend quality time with volunteers, let them know how much you appreciate them and educate the community.

But the deadline is FRIDAY, March 9, at 4:00 pm!  Nominations either need to be mailed – and postmarked – by March 9th or submitted electronically by March 9th at 4:00 pm.

Nominate a volunteer, here.

Visit an online database of volunteer opportunities at!

Thank you for reading.

Mayor Zach Vruwink