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Documenters: Notes from the Economic Development Committee, March 5

in Documenter Stories/News

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional information from Alderman Pat Peckham, and corrects the name of the person calling the meeting to order.

Documented by Amanda McCartan for Wausau Pilot and Review

Date and Time: 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 5th, 2019 in Council Chambers

Economic Development Members Present: Pat Peckham, Michael Martens, and Gary Gisselman
Others Present: Mayor Robert Mielke, Christian Schock, City Attorney Anne Jacobson, and Kevin Briquelet-Miller

The Economic Committee meeting was called to order by Neal at 5:15 p.m.

1.  Approval of the Minutes from 02/20/2019

2.  Schock requested additional time prior to discussing the Mural Proposal at 1300 River Drive.  Granted until 04/02/2019.

3. Schock stated Riverfront Concession Building is in good shape to go with the proposal from Holly and Kevin Briquelet-Miller.  They have crafted a new eco-friendly straw that is still plastic but thinner and compostable.  They will require compost recycling on-site.  Gisselman voiced concerns regarding signage issues along the trail and being able to preserve the natural qualities of the environment. His main concern is that with WOW and Briq’s, a precedent will be set to open other businesses to the possibility of advertising on the trail, turning the Riverwalk into a commercial alley along the river.  Peckham stated he would be more amenable to a sign that simply reads, “Ice cream” with an arrow, not a full menu. Mielke suggested the terms would be better discussed in closed session.

4.  South Riverfront Proposal – Seven responses were received, which boil down to finite differences. Five responses were included in the public information packet. Schock stated some proposals had just been received Friday, March 1. It will be necessary to meet with stakeholder groups (Marathon County, Farmers’ Market, WPS, Whitewater Association) prior to making any decisions. With no need for closed session, the group will hold off until April 2.

5.  Schock moved for a three to four-month temporary extension regarding percentage of rent calculations for space in the Wausau Center Mall. City Attorney Anne Jacobson agreed and requested additional time to come to an agreement. Peckham asked if rent is based on audit reports that would cost $10,000 to complete. Mielke answered that it is. Gisselman recommended action on this as it has been drawn out long enough. Mielke stated that failure to allow the extension would hinder any forward motion. Peckham moved this extension be amended and limited to three months. Martens seconded. All members voted in favor of three-month extension.

6.  CLOSED SESSION pursuant to 19.85(1)( e) of the Wisconsin Statutes for deliberating or negotiating the purchase of public properties, the investing of public funds, or conducting other specified public business, whenever competitive or bargaining reasons require a closed session: Proposal from Briq’s regarding monthly lease on the Riverfront property for concessions sales.

7.  RECONVENE INTO OPEN SESSION – 5:46 p.m.- Peckham moved to change to wording so it would be clear that there could be a negotiated increase, but that the increase would be a minimum of 3%.  Martens seconded.  Motion passed 3-0.

Motion by Peckham, second by Martens to adjourn meeting.  Motion passed 3-0.
Adjournment Time: 5:48 p.m.


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