By Joe Bachman
Dec. 20 marked the last common council meeting of the year. Here is a rundown of some news and notes from last night’s meeting:
Police Chief Recognized
Chief of Police Kurt Heuer was recognized by the city for his 32 years of service in law enforcement. Heuer will be retiring at the start of next year, as current Deputy Chief Randy Jahns is slated to take over the Chief of Police position on Jan. 13, 2017.
“I just want to say thank you for being given the opportunity to serve for the for the City of Wisconsin Rapids,” said Heuer. “It’s been a pleasure working with city staff and council, and the Mayor — and again, I just want to say ‘thank you’ for that opportunity.”
Snowmobile Route Ordinance
A motion was carried for consideration of an ordinance that will establish a snowmobile route in the city. The motion was unanimously passed 7-0.
Clock Tower Gets Repairs
The Clock Tower was approved to get some much needed repairs — which will be paid for by the Mead-Witter Foundation. The repairs include a new door, framework, lighting, and a new bell clapper. The 55-foot landmark has been standing since 1892. It recently had work done on the exterior in 1990.
Multi-Family Development Tabled
Northpointe Development Corporation is looking to build new townhouses on the corner of 25th Ave. South and Alton St. — a move that was tabled by council members.
While 12 conditions currently exist for the company to move into start building, residents of the area stated their concerns over what would be a workforce housing development, stating a decrease in property values, increased possible drug use in the area, and concerns over the property owners not being local.
Workforce housing traditionally targets gainfully employed. low to middle income families. Northpointe introduced plans to buy out the property and build on Dec. 5 at the Finance & Property meeting.
“I thought this came up kind of fast,” said Alderperson Joe Zurfluh. “I just don’t feel from December 5th to now that I can make an informed decision either in favor or against, so I think this is the right step to take at this point.”