City announces grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for Wisconsin Rapids Recreation Complex
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The City of Wisconsin announces a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of the Wisconsin Rapids Recreation Complex (WRRC), featuring our regional aquatics park. The ribbon cutting will take place on Wednesday, July 1st, at 9:00 a.m. in front of the WRRC building. A short presentation will be provided, followed by tours of the facility.
Yesterday evening, the City of Wisconsin Rapids Common Council voted to open the WRRC’s aquatics park for its first season on Monday, July 6th, with restrictions and precautions in place, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Primary restrictions include limiting patron loading to 50% of design, or 400 patrons, collecting patron contact information during admission (which may result in some delays at admissions), and only patrons living in the following areas, as well as Ho-Chunk Nation citizens, will be able to use the facility during the pandemic:
City of Wisconsin Rapids, Village of Vesper, Town of Hansen, Town of Cranmoor, City of Nekoosa, Village of Biron, Village of Port Edwards, Village of Rudolph, Town of Rudolph, Town of Grand Rapids, Town of Port Edwards, Town of Saratoga, Town of Seneca and Town of Sigel.
About the WRRC
The WRRC features a skate park, new playground equipment, a splash pad with night illumination, an outdoor shelter, one new tennis court, six new pickle ball courts, lit walkways, and trees and landscaping throughout the park.
The WRRC’s new aquatics park features three pools. The tot pool has exciting activities, including two water slides, spray features and a tot lazy river. The leisure pool includes a play area, basketball hoops, a water walk, lazy river with a "rapids" action channel, a tube water slide with plunge pool and a body water slide. The recreation pool features basketball hoops, lap swimming, a zip line feature, diving board and a climbing wall. And you can enjoy a snack from the concessions stand on the pool deck, featuring colorful shade structures, furniture and a grass sunbathing berm.
The bath house also includes a four-seasons reservable shelter and the admissions area will also serve as a warming house during the winter ice skating season.
During the winter months the drop circle will be converted into a large ice skating circle, while a separate area will host low board hockey.
For more information on the WRRC, please call the City of Wisconsin Rapids Parks and Recreation Department at 715-421-8240 or online at wirapids.org/aquatics. For more information on the ribbon cutting ceremony, please contact the Mayor’s Office at email@example.com.
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The City of Wisconsin Rapids encourages the small business community to take advantage of a timely grant opportunity. The We’re All In Small Business Grant will provide $2,500 grants to 30,000 Wisconsin small businesses to assist with the costs of business interruption or for health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages and inventory.
Funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is NOW accepting applications online. The deadline to apply is 11:59 pm on Tuesday, June 23rd.
A business may apply for the We’re All In Small Business Grant if it:
• was in business in February 2020 (businesses that started in 2020 are not eligible);
• is Wisconsin-based and for-profit;
• employs 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, including the owner; and
• has more than $0, but less than $1 million in annual revenues.
To prepare for the online application process, businesses should be ready to upload the following documents to the WEDC application:
• 2018 or 2019 federal tax return for business.
• Signed W-9 form available at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf
• An email or letter of acknowledgment from a community organization indicating your business was in operation in February 2020.
• Three-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code that best fits their business. This information may be found on a business’s tax return, or through the NAICS website: www.naics.com/naics-code-description.
The Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce is accepting requests for letters of acknowledgement. Businesses looking to secure an acknowledgment letter should download the template from the WEDC website and email their request with the filled form to Krista Coon, Vice President for the Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer to receive a letter of acknowledgement from the City of Wisconsin Rapids, please contact Kyle Kearns, Director of Community Development, at email@example.com.
“Our local small businesses are vital to the future of our community,“ Mayor Shane Blaser said. “I hope that this opportunity can provide much-needed support to businesses as they navigate changing, challenging conditions.”
For questions about the grant opportunity, visit wedc.org/wai-small-business-grant-frequently-asked-questions/ or call WEDC at 608-210-6700. For media inquiries or general questions, please contact the Mayor’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The City of Wisconsin Rapids is working with key partners and organizations to address the immediate and long-term impacts of Verso Corporation’s plan to idle operations at their Wisconsin Rapids mill.
The City is in ongoing communication with mill management, Senator Patrick Testin’s office, Representative Scott Krug’s office, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the North Central Workforce Development Board (NCWWDB) and the Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce. Mayor Shane Blaser and Director of Community Development, Kyle Kearns, are working on the local response effort, which includes coordinating resources and strategizing economic development opportunities.
NCWWDB’s Dislocated Worker-Rapid Response team is coordinating next steps for impacted workers and will convene a virtual “community response team” meeting, including City officials, in the near future. The Dislocated Worker program offers a comprehensive array of services, including job search and placement assistance, basic skills development, resume and interviewing skills development, and short-term and long-term training assistance. All of these services, including education and training, are provided at no cost to eligible participants.
Testin and Krug are organizing a bipartisan task force of concerned public officials at the local, state and federal level, community organizations, and industry representatives to help the community rebound. Mayor Blaser is pleased to join the task force.
The Mayor’s Office is also responding to all resident inquiries and suggestions received, as transparency, advocacy and encouragement are key to any forward-looking strategies.
“While there are still questions about what this will mean for the future of the paper mill, it is clear that this is an unfortunate development for our community,” said Mayor Blaser. “Please know that I will do everything in my power to soften the impact and support State efforts to ease the transition. Doing everything in my power to secure a vibrant future for our community is my priority.”
“The mill has served as the backbone of the community and has supported many businesses and families for generations.” said Kyle Kearns, Director of Community Development. “The pride and dedication shown by residents employed or in connection to the mill throughout these generations are what will ensure the community can overcome this unfortunate event. The City has become more resilient with time, by investing in its citizens, infrastructure and industry. While the news is a devastating blow to the community, Wisconsin Rapids has transformed and positioned itself to better respond to adversity.”
For more economic development inquiries and suggestions, please contact Director of Community Development Kyle Kearns at email@example.com. For media inquiries or general questions, please contact the Mayor’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
City announces timeline for reopening of parks and municipal facilities; postpones July 4th fireworks
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 22, 2020
WISCONSIN RAPIDS -- The City of Wisconsin Rapids is pleased to announce plans for reopening municipal parks and properties. City parks, including playgrounds, are open immediately, with park facilities opening by the middle of next week. Park shelters are available for private use beginning June 5 and shelter rentals made previously will be honored.
All departments at City Hall will be open to the public starting June 1.
While we encourage residents to visit our parks and municipal facilities, we ask that visitors continue to follow public health guidelines provided by the Wood County Health Department. When in public places, please remember to keep moving to help prevent crowding. Please practice physical distancing, clean your hands regularly, and avoid common touch points to help prevent the spread of germs. Most importantly, stay home if you are sick. City staff will do their best to continue to sanitize and disinfect restroom facilities on a daily basis.
Most public “mass gathering events” in City parks and public spaces will be restricted until July 1. This includes all youth athletic events. Adult softball leagues may begin June 1 in City facilities. The Wisconsin Rapids Municipal Zoo will open as soon as animals are ready to be moved back into the facility. The Regional Aquatics Center, Mead Field Splash Pad and Skate Park are tentatively scheduled to open on June 29.
To mitigate risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Fourth of July fireworks festival will be celebrated Labor Day weekend – honoring both Independence Day and Labor Day with a fireworks event on September 5.
For more information, please call the City of Wisconsin Rapids Parks and Recreation Department at 715-421-8240 or online at wirapids.org/parks--recreation.