Jobs, Drugs, Taxes and Business Most Important Issues Facing Wausau Survey Says

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

The most important issues facing the City of Wausau are jobs, property taxes, drugs and business, according to hundreds of residents who answered a city survey.

The survey was sent out late this spring to 1,500 city residents. 620 answered, and they had a lot to say.

City leaders wanted to find out how Wausau stacks up against other communities and how they can improve customer satisfaction.

The results will be used to develop a three year strategic plan, followed by a financial one.

Of those surveyed, public safety and street maintenance, including snow removal, are big budget priorities. On the low spectrum, are administrative services, the municipal airport and aquatics programs.

The city's finance director says the results aren't surprising.

"The results that we received were pretty expected," Maryanne Groat said. "Citizens always rely on our public safety and our streets," she said.

Those polled also would like to see more grocery stores and retailers Red Lobster, Lowe's and Trader Joe's. They're also interested in having more walking and biking paths, and a dog park.

The areas they'd most be willing to support higher user fees are for aquatics programs, recreation, community events, bus services and the airport.

They could justify raising taxes to maintain public safety and street services. Residents would like to reduce service levels at the top, cutting back on administrative services.

Overall, Groat says the city is pleased with the results of the survey, and Wausau had a solid performance against other state, regional and national benchmarks.

The City Council will look at the results and decide how to incorporate them into the strategic plan. The city is also forming citizen focus groups, to get even more public input.

To get involved, contact the mayor's office at 715-271-6800.

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