Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email editor@wausaupilotandreview.com or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.

Dear editor,

I am speechless!  I am appalled!  The City of Wausau is going to use Federal funds designed to help with recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic to build a bridge and walkway for the new development on the site of the Wausau Center Mall!??  These funds are meant to directly benefit PEOPLE who suffered job losses or eviction or who need child care as a result of the pandemic, not to create amenities for the wealthy.

$10.5 million could build many apartments or homes for people who cannot afford to rent any of the new apartments at Mountain Lanes, the old East High School or on the Riverfront.  There is vacant land on Forest Street, on Bellis Street, and an empty building that once housed the Wausau Daily Herald.

Your priorities are all wrong.  We are building luxuries when too many residents do not have necessities.

The Afghan refugees whom we will “welcome” will have to live in deteriorating housing, as did many Hmong refugees in the 1970s and 80s, IF they can find any available.  Too many of our residents do not have quality affordable housing now.  Rents will rise as there is more pressure on available housing, making it even more difficult for low and middle income families to find a place to live.

Let us recommit to meeting our people’s needs.  If there is a need for fancy paths and bridges, use private money.

Mary Jo Tietge