Mayor Mielke focuses on economic development in "State of the Ci - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Mayor Mielke focuses on economic development in "State of the City"

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -

In Wausau's first ever "State of the City" address, Mayor Robert Mielke emphasized the importance of economic development.

"The state of our economy is strong," he said. "But this is no place to rest."

A major part of the city's economic development is the revitalization of the River District and downtown. 

Two imminent factors involved in those developments are the Micon Cinemas deal and the Urban Bistro restaurant.

While it was Mielke's first "State of the City" address, it was Albert Meyer's first time at an event like this.

"Getting more concerned about the city, because now I'm retired," the longtime Wausau resident said. "My wife and I are getting older, but the city is at a point where you need to consider the next generations."

He shares the mayor's willingness to develop downtown. 

Though the process is slow-going, the mayor said plans for the movie theater are still on track. 

"The theater is going to be happening," he said. "It took a little bit longer because we had to get some more dealings done, that type of thing."

He hopes the downtown upgrades will help retain millennials.

"When I see people go, especially talented people and smart kids - I say that respectfully," he said. "I don't like that, that's not good. That's the future of our city."

Mayor Mielke also addressed the city's state in the aftermath of the March 22 shooting rampage.

"I was really genuinely impressed. I think the world of all of our employees, but in particular our police department," he said. "They really suffered, but I was so happy and so impressed with the way everyone in the community banded together."

The mayor also addressed challenges the city still faces, including homelessness, drugs and how to pay for road repairs. 

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