Two New Local Businesses
The Richland Center City Council paved the way for a pair of businesses during Tuesday night's regularly scheduled meeting - one new business and another that's looking to relocate and expand.
The City Council approved a site plan for construction of the Speedway Station Sandwich Shop - located at 865 N. Main Street. The business's Carol Stevenson said that the restaurant would be large enough to accommodate 40 dine-in patrons, as well as drive-up and carry-out guests. She reported that they are aiming to break ground sometime next spring. The other business that made significant news Tuesday night was Kwik Trip, which was granted a conditional use permit by the council to construct a new facility at the corner of Orange and Seminary Street. Scott Zietlow, project manager for the new site, reported that the proposed 7,100 square foot site will be similar to the new Kwik Trip in Cross Plains. It will include 10 fuel pumps, a 19-door cooler, walk-in cooler, fresh sandwiches and produce. He said the current Kwik Trip at the corner of Main and Seminary Street will close, with the organization picking up the tab for the removal of the underground fuel tanks, decommissioning, and soil decontamination. With Kwik Trip going in at that location, Ed's Family Foods will be closing. Mayor Paul Corcoran lamented the loss of the downtown supermarket. He said in addition to the loss of jobs, Ed's provided a valuable grocery delivery service for many people who found it difficult to make it to the store. Corcoran hoped a program could be developed that would continue some type of grocery delivery service. The mayor also thanked the Fink family for their commitment to the community.
Troy Maggied from the Southwest Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission presented information to the council about a proposal to participate in a regional transit study. Maggied said that within the 5-county region they serve, transportation systems will see greater use because of the aging population. He said that the proposed study would help explore opportunities for partnerships and identify common corridors where riders go to maximize ridership and gain efficiencies. The 18-month study would cost $80,000. That would be spilt between the five counties and Southwest Community Action Program. Maggied said that because Richland County was unique in that Richland Center was the primary city and greatest population density, he requested that the city and county split the local share evenly. The City Council approved the request for the one-time payment of $1,334.
The Richland Center Downtown Neighborhood Association was formally recognized. The group's Rebecca Furbish said that the DNA consists of residents, employees, business owners, and other concerned citizens who meet monthly with the goal of improving the downtown area of the city. She said the group has been together for just over a year and they've accomplished a lot in that time - most notably the community clean-up effort last May.
A report of the City of Richland Center's tourism activities took place last night. Over $30,000 in event sponsorships were granted to various organizations for their efforts to generate visitors from outside the area. The Tourism Committee also spent $23,000 on various marketing and advertising to help promote the Richland Center area. Among the marketing expenditures were three professionally-developed videos that highlight local events: Ocoochapalooza, the Wisconsin High School Rodeo Finals, and Motorsports Mayhem. Those videos will soon be posted on the city and Richland Center Tourism websites. A 2016 Tourism budget was approved Tuesday night in the amount of $84,000 - similar to the expenses incurred in 2015.
In other action from the Richland Center City Council meeting last night, the council approved Dr. Allen Kidd to service another 5-year term on the Police Commission. And it was reported that the new wastewater treatment plant at Twin Bluffs is up-and-running. Utility Commissioner Rod Perry said that the entire project came in well-under budget. He did say some additional costs may be incurred during the tear down process of some of the components at the old treatment plant along Orange Street.
(The below picture is the proposed layout of the new Kwik Trip)