(FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 24, 2020)
Although Gov. Tony Evers signed a bill which provided an opportunity for the deferment of property taxes by counties and municipalities during the coronavirus pandemic, the Wood County Board of Supervisors must pass a resolution first, and then the City of Wisconsin Rapids must pass a resolution.
As of this date, the County has not adopted such a resolution, and therefore the City is unable, by state law, to defer payments or waive penalties and interest.
The City Council has indicated its willingness to pass a resolution if the County would do so, and the City Council has formally requested that the County consider such a resolution soon.
However, since Wood County and the City of Wisconsin Rapids have not adopted resolutions, tax installments will be due on the regularly scheduled date of Thursday, April 30. Penalties and interest for missed due payments will be assessed according to state law.
For more information, please contact the Finance Department at 715-421-8254.
(Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin | April 20, 2020 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE)
After a recount process that took nearly five hours, vote totals which were reported on April 13 were confirmed by the City of Wisconsin Rapids Board of Canvassers today. On April 13, it was reported that Incumbent Vernon Verjinsky and Dean Veneman each received 213 votes for the office of District 2 Alderperson.
The tie vote total was broken that evening by a coin flip, which Veneman won. Verjinsky then requested a recount. Since the recount today did not change the vote totals, Veneman is the election winner.
“I would like to thank all of the election inspectors, tabulators, poll workers, and staff who assisted with this unprecedented election,” said City Clerk Jennifer Gossick. “I would also like to thank the voters for their patience and perseverance in exercising their right to vote during this challenging election.”
Wisconsin Rapids, WI – April showers bring May flowers and garage sales; however, this year per the Governor’s Safer at Home Order, garage sales, rummage sales, or any other out-of-home sales are not essential and are not allowable.
“Spring cleaning, organizing, and decluttering is a great way to relieve stress, but this year we may need to hang on to unwanted items for a little longer,“ said Sue Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director and Health Officer.
Sales that would occur via an online platform and mailed would be allowable.
Safer at Home is working; in Wisconsin, initial projections show that without Safer at Home, there would be significantly more cases of COVID-19 and deaths associated with COVID-19. By staying home we are flattening the curve. Keep up the good work! Continue to stay at home except for essential travel, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer and sanitize surfaces frequently touched by others.
If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, call 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211-211. For up-to-date information, please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook page.
Mayor Zachary Vruwink Calls on WI Legislature to Give Local Government Flexibility on Property Tax Deadlines
Dear Representative Krug and Senator Testin,
While most local government operations continue during this extraordinary time, I write to encourage you to work with your colleagues and call for the convening of a legislative session specific to providing relief to local governments in need of flexibility during this unprecedented time.
Like our State and Federal counterparts, Local governments are looking for ways to help those impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. One way we can offer residents financial flexibility is by extending the deadline for property tax installment payments.
The City of Wisconsin Rapids is among many municipalities in Wisconsin that collect property taxes in installments. These installment dates are set by local ordinance within the parameters of state statute 74.12. Unfortunately, 74.12(1)(a) only allows a municipality to make a change to its tax due dates if enacted by August 15 of the preceding year.
We continue to receive feedback from the community, citing concerns over financial conditions related to the pandemic, such as layoffs and loss of income; and businesses that are having to choose between paying their 2nd tax installment and paying their employees.
The IRS recently extended their deadline to file and pay federal income taxes, financial institutions are offering to help impacted customers, grocery stores are offering special shopping hours for at-risk populations, and many more are doing what they can to support the community through the challenges related to our public health emergency. With the legislature’s support, I know that municipalities can be part of the solution, supporting our communities through this crisis.
Thank you for your consideration. Please let me know how I can be of service to you as you navigate this request, as I know that this emergency legislation will support our community in rebuilding from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zachary J. Vruwink
Wisconsin Rapids, WI – As COVID-19 continues to impact us locally, the Wood County Courthouse will be limiting access to the public effective Thursday, April 9, 2020, to only allow those with prescheduled meetings or appointments to enter the Courthouse.
This is being done to preserve the health and safety of our staff, elected officials, and community members while continuing to maintain the ability to provide essential services. Limited court hearing and proceedings will continue to be held.
“This decision was difficult to make as we know the services provided by Wood County are important for many community members. Services will continue to be provided as necessary but we asking that community members call or email before arriving to the Courthouse so we may reduce direct individual contact and continue to support the Governor’s ‘Safer At Home’ order,” stated Doug Machon, Wood County Board Chair.
Staff are available by phone for appointments and questions. Limited court proceedings will continue as directed by the Circuit Court Judges. Those that have an appointment or a scheduled court proceeding are requested to arrive individually. Groups of people, including family members and/or support individuals of those seeking services, are requested not to accompany them at this time.
For those needing to drop off paperwork or make payments, a locked drop-box is located at the entrance to the Courthouse. Please place all documents and/or payments in a sealed envelope and indicate the department to which your correspondence should be directed, your name, address, and account/parcel number.
Direct lines for each County department located in the Courthouse who interface with the public are listed below:
CHILD SUPPORT – Agency staff may be reached at 715-421-8430. The office will continue to process support payments and provide customer service. Payments can be made online, mailed, or placed in the drop-box at the Courthouse entrance.
COUNTY CLERK – At this time, there will be no vehicle registration services or passport services offered. Marriage licenses and candidate filings will be done by appointment only. Election result reporting and canvassing will continue as scheduled. Please call 715-421-8460 with questions or to request an appointment.
COURTS/CLERK OF COURTS - The Wood County Circuit Court will continue to operate in a limited capacity with priority on urgent cases. Less urgent matters are being rescheduled. The Clerk of Court office has suspended all in-person services. Those with questions related to court proceedings may contact the Courts by calling:
Clerk of Circuit Court 715-421-8490 Branch 1 (Judge Potter) 715-421-8520 Branch 2 (Judge Brazeau) 715-421-8518 Branch 3 (Judge Wolf) 715-421-8415
DISTRICT ATTORNEY/VICTIM WITNESS - Physical access in limited to law enforcement personnel only. We encourage all other contact by telephone at 715-421-8515 (District Attorney) or 715-421-8580 (Victim Witness).
EXTENSION – At this time programming is being offered remotely. Phone lines and emails are being monitored and responded to accordingly. Please call 715-421-8440 to leave a message or visit https://wood.extension.wisc.edu/staff-directory/ for specific staff contact information.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT - The office is staffed, but not open to the public. Please call 715-421-8508.
HUMAN RESOURCES - The Human Resources Department can be reached at 715-421-8457 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are continuing to recruit for open positions. A list of current openings can be found at: https://careers.co.wood.wi.us/CyberWeb/.
PLANNING & ZONING – The Planning & Zoning office has closed their public service counter in the Courthouse but remains fully staffed to answer questions or information needs of the public via telephone, email, and fax. Please call 715-421-8466.
REGISTER OF DEEDS - The Register of Deeds can be reached at 715-421-8450. Documents will still be recorded as received. Copies of vital records are still able to be obtained through the mail and online through VitalChek. Applications can be found at: http://www.co.wood.wi.us/Departments/ROD/Certificates.aspx.
SHERIFF’S DEPT. - The Wood County Sheriff’s Department has released the following press release in regards to changes in services: https://www.co.wood.wi.us/CurrentEvents.aspx?BlogPostID=656 Non-emergent matters can be directed to 715-421-8700.
TREASURER - TREASURER - The Treasurer’s Office has closed their public service counter in the Courthouse but will remain fully staffed to answer questions or information needs of the public via telephone (715) 421-8484, email (email@example.com), and fax (715) 421-8481. Payments can be dropped off at the drop box located at the Courthouse front door by Security Services by check or money order. You can also make payments online at www.co.wood.wi.us/departments/treasurer with a credit/debit card or e-check (fees apply). If dropping off a payment, your payment must be in an envelope with your name and parcel number on it. A receipt will be mailed to you at a later date.
VETERAN SERVICES - The Veteran Service Offices will serve the public though telephone, email, fax, and the US Mail until further notice. Please call 715-421-8420 (Wisconsin Rapids office) or 715-384-3773 (Marshfield office).
A detailed list of services still being provided can be found at the Wood County website (http://www.co.wood.wi.us/ ). If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, call 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211-211.