Debate continues over Stevens Point mall referendum - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Debate continues over Stevens Point mall referendum

  By Heather Sawaski - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -- Relocating Mid State Technical College into the Mall is a move that's causing much debate.

"We have a chance as a community to have stars align for a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Mayor Andrew Halverson.

Halverson believes it'll revitalize downtown But some say, not so fast. Resident Bernard Coerper filed a lawsuit against the city for placing the issue on the February ballot.

"In a perfect world, we shouldn't even be buying private property as a government," Coerper explained. "We should stay out of private business. Let private business buy it."


Coerper wants to give the voting public a few months to decide. He wants it put on the April ballot.

At stake is $5.9 million. Taxpayer bonds that would fund the project and bring life to the nearly vacant shopping space.

"I'm shocked that this community doesn't have pitchforks and lit torches in their hands saying, what aren't we moving faster?" Halverson said. "Because this question has been something this community has dealt with since the first brick was laid for this mall nearly 25 years ago."


For someone who owns a $100,000 property, the Mayor believes voting 'yes' works out to about an extra $31 a year. And doing it now, he said, will kick start the economy and attract more people downtown.

Decision day is Tuesday.

The mayor also added a decision to dissolve the area's Community Development Association. He said only elected officials will be involved in projects regarding taxpayer money.

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