Rapids 2020 budget brings infrastructure projects
By Taylor J. Hale
MMC Staff Writer
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – City leaders approved the 2020 budget last December, bringing with it additional funding for road resurfacing and other city projects.
The roughly $37 million budget is down from the 2019 budget, around $56 million. Coming with the budget change is a 1.9 percent property tax increase, excluding tax jurisdictions like schools and county areas.
City leaders noted the budget’s drop is due to the completion of recent area projects, bringing down the need for additional funding. Mayor Zach Vruwink said that while the budget has dropped, the city is still actively working on numerous projects.
The budget approved $106,000 for road resurfacing. The resurfacing is intended as temporary maintenance until the city can fully restore them.
“The resurfacing is a temporary fix until the city can fully redo the streets, including new infrastructure,” Vruwink explained. “This program is meant to address the streets that will not see full construction in the near future. It gives us some more time on that street surface.”
The resurfacings are expected to last roughly 15-20 years until the city can do a full repair. Vruwink said the resurfacing could start as soon as this spring, but exact roadways, distances, and prices have not been determined.
Rapids East Commerce Center Rail Spur
The city is also budgeting for the coming Matalco rail spur addition, adding a channel for material logistics to the coming $80 million factory.
An agreed incentive will see the city paying roughly $400,000 to construct the industrial spur, with an additional $400,000 coming from state economic development funding.
“Design work is wrapping up,” Vruwink said. “Then, we will focus on construction. I would expect that to be spring or summer.”
The factory is being constructed in the Rapids East Commerce Center and could bring over 80 new jobs to the city.
Contact Taylor J. Hale at firstname.lastname@example.org with Wisconsin Rapids news and information.