By Owen Reissmann for Wausau Pilot and Review

Thursday’s Riverview Neighborhood meeting began with a briefing by Lieutenant Melinda Pauls. While most recent incidents in the area were traffic-related, she shared a few occurrences of note. One such included a man being chased through the Newman high school football field during practice and eventually arrested for armed robbery, possessing a firearm as a felon, first degree recklessly endangering safety, obstructing an officer, and a probation violation. She also shared that on Oct. 16, two men had been arguing and one produced a gun. The man was captured without incident.

After that, the bulk of the meeting was occupied by Mayor Mielke and staff. Mielke stressed his belief that if the owners of the downtown mall aren’t going to be proactive in bringing in businesses they should sell. He shared his opinion that Rialto’s greed cost Wausau the theater deal. He also announced that all downtown parking will be changed to two hours free parking and next spring kiosks will be added.

Planning, Community, and Economic Developer Christian Schock shared that there have been three proposals received for the riverfront property. Mayor Mielke said that he hopes to see construction begin in spring. He said the foundations will be blanketed over next week to ensure their viability due to a (low) risk of backfill if left uncovered. He assured that the three million dollars spent on them is a loan from the city which will be taken on willingly by the new developer.

Mayor Mielke emphasized that the black shiny material used on roads last winter will not be used again. He said more sand has been bought this year and more liquids will be used–less product–especially on hilly areas.

Mielke admitted his irritation with the council’s decisions to allow storage facilities to be built at the riverfront, as that does not fit with the urban image the city has been working to develop to attract people to Wausau.

The two current city attorneys will soon be retiring. Mayor Mielke says he’d like to hire a third as well. He also expressed interest in adding a Social Media Coordinator/Business Manager position.

Editor’s note: The Wausau Pilot and Review Documenters program is made possible through individual donations and grants from several organizations including the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin. The program aims to democratize news and information at the local level through a group of local contributors