By Brandi Makuski
The Wisconsin Rapids Finance and Property Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved hiring a consultant to complete a design plan for a two-mile section of public riverfront space.
The project will focus on the section of riverfront property between Riverview Expressway and the northern Wisconsin Rapids city limits.
Mayor Zach Vruwink said the city is working with Rep. Scott Krug to secure some state funding via a Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) grant.
“We’re very much convinced that- and other communities that have done this have demonstrated- once a city invests in itself with some of these public spaces, private investors will also invest- and they invest in different ways,” he said. “So we’re looking at a very large investment along the east river bank.”
The City Council will give the final approval of hiring the New York-based Supermass to complete the plan at a cost of no more than $120,000.
Adam Tegen, the city’s director of planning & economic development, said he was “very impressed” with the consultant.
“They flew out here and already had researched the history of the community, knew all about us, and even located some old photos I’ve never seen of the riverfront,” Tegen said.
Vruwink said the consultant also understood the economic boost the city hoped would result from the riverfront upgrades.
While the plans are in the early stages, Vruwink said the final plan should be ready for Council approval by September. Possible amenities include a defined east river bank walking trail, fishing piers, handicap-accessible waterfront space, scenic overlooks, picnic areas with grills and a park shelter.
Tegen added the city was looking for input from residents regarding amenities or elements that should be included in the final plan. To contact Tegen, call (715) 421-8225.