Wausau City Council moves forward with phase two of Thomas St. p - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau City Council moves forward with phase two of Thomas St. project

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -

Wausau City Council voted to move forward with phase two of the Thomas St. project Tuesday night in a 6 to 4 vote.

The reconstruction will impact Thomas St. from the Wisconsin River Bridge to 4th Avenue. A couple dozen residents showed up to the meeting, with three speaking to city council.

Residents reiterated concerns that they voiced at a public meeting back in June. They said they're worried about environmental concerns related to the soil being dug up.

"I'm concerned about the environmental impact that it has, you're digging into the known chemical wasteland," said Wausau resident Louis Larson.

Other residents are worried about being displaced from their homes.

"It's going to be a tragedy to move," said Wausau resident Larry Anklam. "I have been here over 40 years, since 1977."

Anklam's property is on Thomas Street, his house could be torn down in the construction process.

"It's going to really be hard on us, we don't want to move it's as simple as that," said Anklam. "They're forcing it down our throats is what they're doing."

Officials said tearing up the road has been approved by the DNR, however, Mayor Robert Mielke along with other council members want more answers on the soil.

"I think it needs to be looked at more in depth, for my own taste," said Mielke. "I don't want to be known as the mayor that released something in case something does happen, and public safety and concern is my biggest thing."

The decision was polarizing for council members, who spent time debating the issue.

"All this is is step one of 20 approximately to draw up a design, lay it out on a map and figure our where to go from there," said Wausau City Council President Lisa Rasmussen.

City officials have said that the project is necessary, citing accidents on the road. No design or plans for the construction have been created. Engineers will begin working on that now. As soon as there is a plan, a public meeting will be held.

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