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Committees approve Stevens Point funding Bus. 51 plan and buying Mickey's


STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) -- Stevens Point leaders are not in agreement over spending money on a long-term plan for the Division Street Business Highway 51 corridor knowing it will probably be a decade before any construction takes place.

Some council members, Like Michael O’Meara, say there are parts of the planning the city will need whether it’s now or later, and supports paying AECOM to complete the study now.  “There will be changes, and you’re going to spend money, but a whole lot of these things are things you’re going t do no matter what.”

Alderman Mike Wiza says he can’t justify spending those dollars on a document that will not get used right away and probably change before any work begins.  “The county board has three different jail studies, all done within ten years. They haven’t listened to any of them yet. They’re outdated, let’s do another one. In ten years, do you think the people that are sitting in these chairs are going to trust a document that is ten years old?”

Wiza says many times, projecting what local government will need ten years out is not accurate. “Who would have thought that ten years ago, we would be talking about no mall, Strongs Avenue run through, Third Street run through, a fountain in the farmer’s market, thousands of students with a new Mid-State building downtown. All of those things weren’t thought of ten years ago. A lot can change in ten years.”

Committee members voted to approve completing the study.

In another meeting with the Redevelopment Committee, members voted 3-2 to purchase the former Mickey’s restaurant building at North Point Drive and 2nd Street for $87,000. Both of these issues need full city council action.