Mayor’s Minute: A monthly update with Mayor Shane Blaser
Wisconsin Rapids City Times staff sat down with Mayor Shane Blaser to get an update on activities in the city.
Verso Mill facilities update
Mayor Blaser said that activities with the mill were very quiet since Atlas announced their interest in the facilities.
“We just don’t have any one-on-one communication with them; I haven’t in a long time, but it is a private business so they have no obligation to have any of that communication with us,” he said. “So, it is kind of waiting and seeing.”
However, Blaser said that there is still business occurring at the mill.
“I look across at the mill every day and there is still Sunoco (Products) –the company within the mill – that is still operating with over 100 employees. They bought, basically, the recycled paper end. It used to be Corenso when it was under Consolidated. So, Sunoco is still operating there – a standalone, viable company that is doing well – and they are working hard to make sure that they stay in the community and that they are viable in the current setting that they are in now.
“Because, there is a lot of sharing of stuff – power, wastewater, water – all flows through the mill to them, so they are trying to be in the same building but separate so they are their own standalone. That is a really good, strong company there.”
Transportation Utility Fees
Blaser also said that the city is looking at Transportation Utility Fees, to replace special assessments in the city, with discussions starting last year.
Transportation Utility Fees would operate similar to public electric, sewer/water, or stormwater utilities, with rates assessed through trip numbers.
A comprehensive story on this model will be featured in the Aug. 18 edition of this publication.
City Dog Park
“I’ve been trying to figure out how to get a dog park in the city,” Blaser added. “It’s important.
“Just trying to find a location. I had one idea, out by Norton Pond. It’s kind of a stormwater area. They’ve got quite a bit of land up there. But it’s tough, in neighborhoods, so we are looking at other alternative areas too.
“Really Park & Rec will need to be the one that decides if we are going to do that, where that will go.”
Aquatic Center Closing
The mayor’s office is also reminding the public that the aquatic center will close on Aug. 22.