Mayor’s Minute: An update with Wisconsin Rapids Mayor Shane Blaser
By Kris Leonhardt
Aquatic Facility Operations
Mayor Shane Blaser said that the city was presented with the revenue numbers from the summer’s aquatic facility operations, which came in at about a quarter of a million dollars.
“That doesn’t include any expenses,” he added. “Bills are still coming in, so we are kind of waiting to find out about those final expenses.”
The mayor added that he would like to see the numbers come in as close to even as possible, as the facility serves as more of a public amenity.
“We don’t build pools to be profitable, but as close to even would be good… If we come close to even, I would consider that a win. We don’t want it to be a public burden though, definitely want it to be an even number,” he explained.
“Obviously, we are paying off a bond, which the taxpayers pay on their bill; but, the actual open the doors and operate it for a summer, we can kind of follow it in the estimated budget. Because every pool, every year that we have ever had pools has always had a budget; they’ve always had costs associated with them and it is no different with the aquatic center.”
This will reflect the first full summer of operation for the aquatic facility.
Mead Witter Foundation Appeal
“The council granted the appeal to allow for the crossing under Grand Avenue for an irrigation line to irrigate the park,” the mayor said.
He added that under the current right-of-way ordinance the city doesn’t necessarily allow for private crossings of public space or public infrastructure.
“But they happen all up and down the river, because of the irrigation lines. A lot of people up and down the river like to irrigate their yards using river water, so they do have to cross,” he explained.
“This is a little more unique, because it is crossing to another property, but they also own that property. It is kind of a unique situation, but council felt that – or at least the way I took what the council thought – the project is a good public-civic project and it wasn’t for personal capital gain.”
The foundation is currently working to construct a park which includes: a bridge across a stormwater feature, benches, lighting, and landscaping.
Budget season approaching
“All of the departments have submitted their budgets to the finance director, and now he is going to compile them and work his magic. Then, he and I will meet with other departments and have them go through their budgets with me, the bigger ones,” the mayor stated.
“We have to get it down to a manageable budget.
“It will be taking place for the next few months; there will be a number of committee meetings on it.”