City seeks to purchase .05 acres of downtown for $20K

By Brandi Makuski

City plan commissioners on Monday will be asked to approve purchasing a little over 2,000 square feet of land in the downtown square area.

If approved, the city will purchase land currently comprised of 10 parking spaces from Elodin Holdings, owned by Patrick Rothfuss, for $20,000. According to Monday’s agenda, the city intends to lease those parking spaces in an attempt to offset parking lost by a pending relocation of a downtown garbage corral.

In August, the city council approved construction of a new garage corral for use by downtown businesses to a location off of the public square—a municipal parking lot just west of the old Stevens Point Journal building. The corral is currently located in front of Elbow Room Bar on the 1300 block of Second St.

In August, Mayor Mike Wiza called the corral a “stinky, disgusting mess in our square,” adding the city had received multiple complaints regarding rodents, odor, and unsightliness.

As the expense wasn’t included in the 2018 budget, the city council in August approved using $25,000 from the city’s contingency fund to pay for constructing the new corral, which will include steel fencing and a roof.

“The construction of a new refuse corral in this area would clean up the area and create greater aesthetics,” a memo from Community Development Director Michael Ostrowski reads in part.

Even if the refuse corral is not relocated, Ostrowski said his staff still feels it’s a “wise purchase” because the space is surrounded by properties owned by the city’s Redevelopment Authority.

“In the future, additional land swaps may occur between the city and Redevelopment Authority to create consistency,” he wrote.

The Stevens Point Plan Commission meets at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3 in the Community Room of the Stevens Point Police Department. The public is encouraged to attend.