By Shereen Siewert

City officials will seek proposals to redevelop a portion of Thomas Street, an area where homes were demolished to make way for road reconstruction that completed in 2019.

The request for proposals will be released by the city this week, with proposals due in late February. Eight parcels are being offered for redevelopment.

Council member Gary Gisselman told fellow members of the Economic Development Committee he wished to ensure that potential buyers interested in redeveloping the land are aware of potential environmental issues in the area.

Citizens for a Clean Wausau spokesman Tom Kilian recommended a community session to interface with the neighborhood, the district and the community at large to ensure that residents are part of the decision-making process before the RFP is issued.

“There’s no reason to replicate the community failure that happened on the west side,” Kilian said, pointing to dissatisfaction with past processes involving the western portion of Thomas Street.

Kilian said that an off-site pump and treat system is a possibility for the area as well, and asked the committee to hold off on issuing the RFP until more information is available.

But Council President Lisa Rasmussen said an RFP can still be put forward to consider potential concepts for the land.

The request for proposals calls for interested parties to submit a draft site plan for one or all properties, a proposed purchase price and use of the area, estimated construction value and any request for city participation.

The committee, which consists of Rasmussen, Gisselman, Tom Neal, Michael Martens and Pat Peckham unanimously approved issuing the RFP, which is expected to include language about potential environmental issues in the area.