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January 26, 2020

12/12/2019 7:30:00 AM
Hodag Sports Complex site plan left off Common Council agenda

Jamie Taylor
River News Reporter

While the Rhinelander Common Council tackled a number of topics when it met Monday evening at City Hall, one item left off the agenda for the council's only December meeting was the site plan and conditional use permit (CUP) to build the Hodag Sports Complex next to Rhinelander High School.

School District of Rhinelander superintendent Kelli Jacobi said Tuesday she was surprised that the two items were not on the agenda after they cleared the city's planning commission on Dec. 3. She said it was her understanding that both the site plan and CUP would be on Monday's agenda.

"It was very disappointing," she said.

The next council meeting is set for Jan. 13 where the CUP and site plan could be approved. This is in the middle of an active planning phase for the school district.

"We have to proceed with the final design and get the bid documents ready," Jacobi said. "We (the Board of Education) will be meeting both before and after the meeting of the 13th and sending out the RFPs (Request For Proposals), which will be after our January meeting, which will be after the 13th."

Jacobi said the board vote on adopting the final plan for the complex, including the air-supported dome, will hopefully come after the council signs off, and therefore won't affect the project's timeline.

The dome is set to open in fall of 2020 and the two softball fields in the complex will be available for use in the spring of 2021.

"We need to get approval on the 13th or there could be delays," Jacobi said.

As of Tuesday morning, Jacobi said she had not heard an official explanation for why the dome was not on Monday's agenda.

"I don't know if it was inadvertently left off or the agenda was too full and they left it off intentionally," Jacobi said. "I'm not sure which it was. I've heard both."

The River News reached out to both city administrator Daniel Guild and mayor Chris Fredrickson for clarification as to why the items were not on the agenda. As of press time, neither official responded.

Jamie Taylor may be reached via email at jamie@rivernews

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