Community Update: Thank you; Support your community – be a volunteer; Opportunity Zone designation offers investment potential

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Thank you!

Despite a historic snowfall strongly impacting voter turnout, a core number of voters were undeterred in exercising their right to vote Tuesday. I am deeply grateful to be able to continue serving you- the residents for another term! Our work continues in supporting a pro-business environment to promote new investments in business and job growth, to improve neighborhoods, and to bring about world-class community facilities. I look forward to working with residents, Staff and the City Council to ‘make it happen’.

Support your community – be a volunteer

One of the rewards of being Mayor of Wisconsin Rapids is the opportunity to see firsthand the active engagement of our residents in activities and initiatives designed to make our city a better place in which to live, work and play. “Right now” is always the ideal time to share your talent and support as a volunteer.

If you’re looking to volunteer check out the current opportunities, here.

To find your volunteer match, call 715-421-0390 or search, here.

Volunteering is great way to become engaged in our community and help others in need.

In recognition of volunteers, I will be attending the Volunteer Recognition Breakfast at the Hotel Mead on Tuesday, April, 17.  If you would like to attend please register by April 10, 2018, here, or call 715-421-0390.

In addition, opportunities abound for civic-minded individuals as part of a Mayor’s Council. Members of he Mayor’s Beautification Council, for example, currently are putting together working with City officials on the Streetscape proposal incorporated into the East Grand Avenue reconstruction plan; and planning for the summer hanging basket program.

Also, Youth Council members have solicited community input contributing to the Municipal Zoo Master Plan and maintaining their fundraising efforts for the Regional Aquatic Center at Witter Field.

Again, the time is always right help build a stronger and more vibrant community. Step forward as an individual, or enlist your family, friends, co-workers or social group. However you choose to take action, you inspire and create change for the better.

Opportunity Zone approval offers investor potential for City

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A portion of the area designated (River-west; W. Grand Ave- south)

Thanks to Governor Walker and State of Wisconsin economic development officials, the City of Wisconsin Rapids has an enhanced opportunity to secure redevelopment investments.

After a thorough review process, the State on March 21st, selected a low-income census tract in the Wisconsin Rapids area to be designated as an “Opportunity Zone.” The local tract was included in a list of areas statewide that the Governor sent to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

This new economic development initiative was included in the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 to encourage economic growth in low-income census tracts across the country. The Opportunity Zones program gives investors the chance to reduce their capital gains tax when they invest in distressed parts of the country.

Once approved, the Opportunity Zone designation will remain in place for 10 years, if necessary.

The Department of Treasury must complete certification of Opportunity Zones within 30 days of receipt of a nomination from a governor. Thus, implementation of the program could begin as early as the fourth quarter of 2018 or the first quarter of 2019.

We express gratitude to State officials for working with us to designate a qualifying area of Wisconsin Rapids for this exciting investment opportunity. Special recognition also goes to U.S. Representative Ron Kind, who co-sponsored the Opportunity Zone concept in Congress.

We continue to pursue every available investment tool available to grow our economy and create jobs for our residents.

Thank you for reading.

Mayor Zach Vruwink

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