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In Your Words: City should slow down on Thomas Street plan

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Dear Editor:

I walked away from last nights CISM meeting very unsettled. There are some items that are very alarming:

  1. They are advancing this way too fast for anyone to digest. Not three weeks will pass from when this was first announced to when the council will vote on it. A project of this size should not be done hastily. Even Council woman Becky McElhaney said they should not be voting on this issue as the packet was delivered an hour and a half before the meeting, and she didn’t have a chance to read it due to its volume. Its a good guess that the people who voted to move this forward didn’t read it either. The packet contained critical emails from residents. How can they advance a project that the beginning stages are not set in stone? All council members spearheading this movement should be held accountable for any future shortcomings.
  2. Cost. Eric Lindman said that they would have cost estimates for the public by the CISM meeting. They did not have anything ready for the public to view or discuss. There was no mention of Federal or State aid. When I asked the Board what the cost’s were & who’s paying for it. Lisa Rasmussen said that TIF District 6 is paying for it since there’s a positive cash flow there. So it looks like there is no State or Federal aid. No savings in the city’s funds to pay for this. Based on what they’ve shared this will be all on borrowed money. So they voted to go ahead with a plan that’s not set in stone and have no idea of what will cost city taxpayers.
  3. If they need a few extra feet take them off of both sided of the road! The Council seems bent on tearing down the homes on the north side. First of all, the traffic numbers are down — we shouldn’t even be talking about expansion. If the sewers are so bad they should repair them, replace the footprint and put some sort of traffic management systems in place. Several solutions have been made to the CISM committee so taxpayers don’t have to pay to own more vacant lots, such as a turning lane median, which they are looking at. Also, instead of bike lanes, I’d like to see them increase the width of the sidewalk for both walkers and bikers. Or, run the bike lane behind our properties in the abandoned railroad right away. Since some of our homes are basically riverfront homes, tear them down and the City has a large chunk of prime inter city riverfront property they stand to profit on.
  4. Traffic Management: It has been mentioned that simple traffic management systems could be implemented to keep Thomas street safe. Stoplights at Thomas & Emter so people can cross the street safely to access Dairy Queen. Rumble strips, etc. Nobody on the CISM committee, or city engineers has discussed this, as far as I can see.

There are so many issues here that are not being addressed that could save taxpayers money because of the quickness this is being forced through. It’s as if city engineers and certain CISM committee members have a plane to catch.

Sincerely,

Louis C. Larson, Wausau


Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly accepts letters to the editor about issues facing Wausau-area residents. Email letters to editor@wausaupilotandreview.com or mail to P.O. Box 532, Wausau, Wis., 54402-0532. Include your phone number and/or email address for verification purposes only. Anonymous letters are not published.

 

1 Comment

  1. The lack of fiscal acumen by most members of Council is breathtaking.

    And that sad fact is slowly degrading our City’s financial health (reference Moody’s recent downgrade of Wausau’s rating), and saddling our children and grandchildren for decades to come with unwanted, wasteful bills for their free-for-all spending.

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