Lou Larson

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Dear editor,

Kudos to Mayor Katie Rosenberg for removing the foundry from last week’s Council meeting agenda. Anytime questions arise on any agenda item it can be removed at any time. 

Even though it’s been over 60 days since WOZ’s notification, we as a council haven’t been given the opportunity to discuss this delay and how we should move forward. It’s that simple. When T. Wall first came to Wausau about 3 years ago to build a Riverlife complex, we were dealt the same obstacles.

Over the past five years Wausau has successfully built three apartment complexes and has another in the making, all using local developers. There have been no delays, no excuses about interest rates, construction costs. They have quietly honored their contracts.

Once again T. Wall is moving the goalposts and appears unable to honor its contract. If they can’t get the money to build. Should we grant them another delay? Should we move on? What are the legal ramifications if we allow them to default? Have WOZ and T. Wall been ethical leaders with this project?

 It’s past practice that these important issues get discussed in both closed and open session before any vote. Who’s behind rushing a vote on a delay? 

I want to know how my colleagues feel about this delay. As alders, we need to be fully educated before we make a conscious decision. Especially when about $10.8 million in taxpayer dollars is involved.

We all want to see action on the empty downtown slab. I don’t know if the development team has the money capabilities in place to pull this off. So far they haven’t shown it to the City Council. It feels as though we’re always the last to know when things sour, when we should be the first.

If the delay is granted I bet one or two of both will happen: another delay and another ask for taxpayer money. It’s hard to ignore past practice, but I hope they prove me wrong.

Delay the delay? Absolutely!

Lou Larson, Alder for Dist. 10 in Wausau