WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The City of Wisconsin Rapids Common Council approved the transportation utility to fund $500,000 of operating and maintenance expenses for streets and sidewalks, and eliminate special assessments. The transportation utility would replace revenues from special assessments at $350,000 and increase road surfacing efforts at $150,000.
Transportation utility fees will be charged through the Water Works and Lighting Commission utility bills. Billing may start as soon as July 2022. Properties with pending special assessments will not be charged the proposed Special Assessment charge. In the coming weeks, a formal letter will be sent to each of the properties that were noticed of pending special assessment charges.
The transportation utility is a mechanism to raise revenue, similar to other utilities, and is based on a customer’s relative use of the road system (or the property’s “trip generation”). Trip generation for each property within the City is determined using the Institute of Transportation Engineers’ Trip Generation Manual. The trip generation manual is derived from hundreds or thousands of studies across the nation for many different land uses. The data is analyzed and characterized in a way that can be compared across similar land uses with similar characteristics.
The utility revenue of $500,000 is divided by the annual trips generated within the city to determine a cost per trip. The cost per trip is applied to the trips generated at each property within the city.
• Single Family Residential ~$20/year (per dwelling unit)
• Duplex and triplexes ~$17/year (per dwelling unit)
• Multi-family with 4 or more units ~$16/year (per dwelling unit)
• Commercial, institutional, industrial properties generate trips based on the type of business/use and certain characteristics, such as square foot of floor space, so each business has a unique charge.
There have been growing concerns about special assessments regarding assessment procedures and the amount of assessments to property owners. In 2020, City Council instructed staff to perform a review of the special assessment process and identify available funding options as a substitute for special assessments.
The City has analyzed public survey data, and the pros and cons for several special assessment alternatives to select the transportation utility model as the most equitable alternative for further exploration.
Learn more about the transportation utility here: www.wirapids.org/transportation-utility Questions can be directed to: Joe Eichsteadt City Engineer 715-421-8251 firstname.lastname@example.org
Wisconsin Rapids Wastewater Treatment Plant addresses cracked sanitary sewer force main that caused overflow
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – On April 10, 2022, at approximately 8:00 a.m., a sanitary sewer force main cracked and overflowed onto the street and into the storm sewer at the intersection of 1st Street South and Pepper Avenue in Wisconsin Rapids.
Wastewater Treatment Plant staff immediately undertook efforts to redirect the force main flow and the overflow was stopped at 8:30 a.m. Approximately 1,500 gallons of sanitary sewer flowed into the storm sewer. The storm sewer runs to One Mile Creek.
On April 11, 2022, the intersection was excavated, the pipe was repaired, and normal operations resumed at approximately 10:00 a.m.
For additional information regarding this matter, please contact:
Wisconsin Rapids Wastewater Treatment Plant
2540 1st Street South
Wisconsin Rapids, WI. 54494
Presidential Proclamation 6667, National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (NPSTW), was signed into law by President William J. Clinton on April 12, 1994. He declared every second week of April as NPSTW.
Residents can use this week to celebrate and honor telecommunications personnel across the Nation who serve our communities, citizens, and public safety personnel 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
City adopts resolution designating No Mow May
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The City of Wisconsin Rapids has adopted a resolution designating the month of May 2022 as No Mow May, which allows homeowners to obtain temporary relief from lawn maintenance standards in Chapter 36, Sections 302.4 of City Ordinance. Property owners that register their property in the program can voluntarily delay lawn care practices until June and are provided a City of Wisconsin Rapids No Mow May yard sign.
Participation in No Mow May is voluntary and free of charge. Residents interested in participating in No Mow May must register by May 6th, agree to the terms of the program, pick up a yard sign from City Hall and post the yard sign in their front yard during the month of May. Each registered property will receive one free yard sign. Please keep your yard sign for future No Mow May programs. Properties that haven’t registered for the City’s No Mow May program will be subject to regular penalties for long grasses or weeds.
To register for No Mow May and pick up your yard sign, please visit the Mayor’s Office on the 3rd floor of City Hall, 444 West Grand Ave., between 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Yard signs will be available starting April 12. To expedite the process, you may register in advance at: www.wirapids.org/no-mow-may
The City has also designated some spots on city property to leave un-mowed:
• 20th Street, from Two Mile Avenue to Griffith Avenue
• 16th Street, from Two Mile Avenue to Kuhn Avenue
• Whitrock Avenue, between 16th Street and 20th Street
• Around the storm water pond on 16th Street and Two Mile Avenue
• Robinson Park (ball fields and spectator areas will be mowed)
• Sand Lot Park (ball fields and spectator areas will be mowed)
The goal of No Mow May is to provide early season forage for native pollinators by reducing our mowing intensity during a month when foraging resources are limited. Allowing lawns to grow longer, without treating them with chemical pesticides or herbicides, leads to an increase in the number and types of native plants, which are a great source of food for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. Additionally, it provides important insect habitats for those that are still in diapause (a type of hibernation) in early spring. Weed growth in May is particularly important, because many other spring blooms have not yet emerged.
“Given that one of every three bites we take is dependent on a pollinator, the threat to pollinator habitats and their food resources is vital to humanity. And small changes can make a big impact,” said Mayor Shane Blaser. “If forgoing all lawn care for a month isn’t right for you, maybe you could stop using chemicals on your lawn for a few weeks (or even the whole summer), or maybe there is smaller section of your yard you might skip mowing for a month, or you could grow a pollinator garden as an attractive option for those with a green thumb.”
Local resources and programs are available to learn more about pollinators:
• The McMillan Library is hosting Family Fun - Bee-U-tiful Bees (and other pollinators) on May 3 from 5 – 6:30 p.m. Children will make a simple bee bath and learn about pollinators. Available while supplies last. For more information, call the library at 715-422-5136 or visit: www.mcmillanlibrary.org
• Clean Green Action (CGA) and Bird City Wisconsin Rapids are hosting an informational booth on No Mow May and pollinator-friendly practices at McMillan Library on May 3 from 5 – 6:30 p.m. Learn more about CGA online at: www.cleangreenaction.org
• Find a list of resources and download a coloring page by visiting: www.wirapids.org/no-mow-may
“CGA supports the City of Wisconsin Rapids’ adoption of a No Mow May Resolution. Some of our projects that support pollinator habitats include Bird City Wisconsin Rapids, the Monarch Encouragement Project and a recently adopted Pollinator Protection project,” said Elizabeth Whelan, with CGA of Wisconsin Rapids. “CGA and Bee City USA agree that we ‘Do More by Doing Less’ – less mowing, less pesticide use, less watering of lawns and less pollution from gas powered lawn mowers. In the process we gain insects that are needed to pollinate plants and provide food for birds.”
Learn more about the No Mow May initiative and register online here: www.wirapids.org/no-mow-may
Questions about the program can be directed to the Mayor's Office at 715-421-8216 or email@example.com.
Questions about lawn care ordinances can be directed to the Community Development Office at 715-421-8228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mayor Shane Blaser has made a proclamation recognizing the Lowell Center's 40th Anniversary.
The Lowell Center empowers older adults to enhance their own physical and mental health. They have served the senior community for four decades now.