Two major construction projects are being planned in Wisconsin Dells for the next year.
A major road work on Stand Rock Road and Commercial Avenue in the city has been underway for some time, and an engineering/planning work was estimated at over $486,000. About $45,000 in additional similar work was committed to the city parking lot between Oak and Elm Streets just north of Broadway between the Gables Motel and the buildings on the city’s north side.
Both planning work orders are scheduled to be performed by the end of 2023. MSA Professional Services, which is contracted for nearly all planning and engineering for field projects, is doing the engineering.
The realignment of Stand Rock Road between its intersections with Commercial Avenue and Broadway, as well as to Commercial Avenue between Stand Rock Road and Brew Farm Road near Wisconsin Dells High School, are the main two parts of the larger project. Extension of multi-use path has also been set in all areas of reconstruction.
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The project is the third phase of construction projects in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District No. 2, located on the west side of the city. Phase number 1 was a project on Trout Road and Phase II was on Fitzgerald Road.
A tax increment district on the west side of Wisconsin Dells has been put up for bond in 2023 to address Phase III of infrastructure improvements.
Wisconsin Dells Public Works stated, “Trout Rd and Fitzgerald Rd provided a link to the new high school from Lake Dalton, while the Commercial Ave/Stand Rock Rd project will improve the new high school’s connection to downtown Dales in Columbia Co. ” Director Chris Tolksen in an email.
City Administrator/Finance Director Karen Terry stated that both projects will be funded through TIF district funds, as the parking lot is in TIF No. 3. Tolksen said the project is expected to be completed next year.
The parking lot, which extends from Oak to Elm Streets, has about 60 parking spaces and sidewalks in poor condition. The MSA will conduct a survey of the lot area for geometric and sanitary facility design as well as installation of electric charging stations. Terry said the city’s parking utility fund, along with the TIF money, will also go toward the lot.
“The intent is for a complete rebuild similar to the lot behind the (upcoming Elm Street) Plaza, where the islands have been removed,” Tolksen said in his email.
According to Tollaksen, the city’s parking board will need to approve the estimate after the engineering phase is approved in order to begin construction.
Along with the construction projects, the City Council also unanimously approved the formation of a “Class B” License Advisory Committee.
Class B licenses are given to businesses throughout Wisconsin approving them for the sale of alcohol. The committee will initially consist of the city’s Mayor Ed Wozniak, Eld. Brian Holzem, Business Improvement District (BID) committee chair Tara Anker, City Planning Commission member Ted Theiler, and Dalles resident and former restaurateur Ron Newell.
Alderman Jesse DeFosse, who along with Holzem represents city Wards 1, 7, and 8, said more representation by people under 40 is needed on the committee.
“I’m concerned about the balance, if there’s a restaurant or bar effect, at least age-wise,” DeFoss said. “The future of the Dales in the over 60 opinion is different from the future of the Dales in the 40 and under opinion.”
Woznicz said the committee aims to recommend licenses for businesses that have the best economic impact on the city.
In other updates, Wisconsin Dells High School announced some changes to its curriculum offerings for the 2023-24 school year. Students will be released for recess on December 22 in the afternoon before returning to school on January 3, 2023.
New courses offered include an Advanced Placement (AP) statistics as an alternative to AP calculus, and four new physical education courses—including a Mind and Body Connection course that includes yoga and meditation lessons—as well as Also includes competitive physical education for sophomores through seniors. , allowing more competitive students to set up their own classes.
Enrichment courses for freshman- and sophomore-level algebra, geometry, and English/language arts were cut to allow for smaller class sizes and were required to be covered in additional class time. Creative writing and public speaking were cut due to low student interest. Those courses haven’t run officially in years, but are available in the course book. Six technical education courses were cut as part of the department’s scaling-back.