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home : news : city news May 25, 2016

7/16/2014 3:40:00 PM
City to send out survey on recreation and comprehensive plans

Marcus Nesemann

The city of Rhinelander will be distributing surveys to gain input from the public on its new comprehensive and outdoor recreational plans.

City Administrator Blaine Oborn outlined the survey for the City Council Monday and asked alderpersons to send him comments and suggestions on the document this week before it is sent out to residents. The city worked with the North Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission to create the survey.

"We're doing a combination survey for the comprehensive plan and the outdoor recreational plan together," he explained.

"The council is welcome to read it individually and suggest any changes they might propose regarding additions or anything (it wants) to see."

Oborn said he doesn't have a firm date on when the survey will be sent out to Rhinelander residents, but he did say it would be soon. He also said he hopes to post the survey on the city's website to make it easier for the public to fill out.

"We're combining the two together and we'll probably do a mailing on this and promotion and hopefully we'll set it up online to make it easier for our citizens," Oborn said.

"It will be going out soon."

The survey will ask questions related to the quality of life in the city, economic development possibilities, community facilities, transportation, housing availability, recreational opportunities and technology.

Streetscape survey

In other business, Oborn gave a brief update on the results of a survey that was sent out asking downtown business owners for input on the four options the city is considering related to the downtown streetscape project.

Option one would create parallel parking spots on each side of Brown Street. It would widen the sidewalks by about 20 feet, but there would be 61 parking spaces available compared to the 107 now available.

Option two would make Brown Street a one-way street with angled parking on each side. That option would create five more parking spaces and sidewalks would be increased around 9 inches.

Option three would keep the street design the same and option four would see Brown Street offer both angled and parallel parking, with 85 spaces created and sidewalks widened by about 10 inches.

Renditions of each option, along with much more information on the planning process, and opportunities to offer input, can be found at

"There's a public meeting set for July 23 at 5:30 p.m.," Oborn said.

"This went to the (Downtown Rhinelander, Inc.) Design Committee and they met and recommended going with the option that has parallel parking on both sides (of Brown Street) and instead of using the full 20 feet available, they're using five on each side so that should allow for bike lanes, I believe, on both sides," he said. "Ultimately, the decision is the council's decision on that."

Final approvals

The council gave final approval to a number of items discussed in committee over the last week.

The city's administrative cost allocation plan for 2015 and 2016 received unanimous approval.

The allocation plan is determined every two years. The city sets the amounts it will charge in administrative fees to city entities such as the airport and the library.

There aren't a lot of changes from year to year, as most of the proposed allocations stay relatively similar to past years, however the question of what to charge the library led members of the Finance, Wage and Salary Committee to request a renegotiation of the agreement between the city and the library.

The request for renegotiation was approved by the council.

The council also gave its unanimous approval to two claims discussed by the same committee.

The first claim is the result of an accident between a Rhinelander squad car and another motor vehicle.

"On Sunday, June 8, officer Chad Brown was on patrol. He was northbound on Stevens Street and he observed a vehicle coming at a high rate of speed and he clocked the vehicle and the vehicle was definitely speeding," Police Chief Mike Steffes explained to the committee last week.

"He decided to perform a traffic stop (and) pulled off to the side of the road. As the vehicle passed, he keyed on the vehicle, started to initiate his U-turn. When he pulled off, he saw a vehicle behind him but it was pretty far back so he made his U-turn, did not look into his mirror or over his shoulder and banged into the front of the car."

The repairs to the squad car cost about $900, Steffes said, but the repairs to the other car were estimated at $3,605.75. No injuries were reported in the accident.

The second claim is for a left rear window that was broken at Hodag Park while city workers were weed-whacking in the area.

The estimated cost of that damage is $236.90.

Marcus Nesemann may be reached at

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