New Richmond Newsroom
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Well after the final event wrapped up at this weekend's Fun Fest celebration, the New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce was still feeling the heat. A fair number of complaints were registered during the four-day celebration. Some of the problems could be attributed to the wholesale changes implemented for this year's gathering.
The fact that Scott Ross was able to travel to New Richmond on Friday was a small miracle in itself. Five years ago, Ross weighed 500 pounds and smoked a pack of cigarettes every day. Today he's touring the state, stopping at community celebrations and entering area running races, to promote his unlikely campaign to become Wisconsin next Secretary of State. "I was truly blessed with a second chance," Ross said in an interview with The News.
The St. Croix County Fair promises to be even bigger and better this year. The annual gathering, slated for July 20-23, has continually evolved over the years. "We try to improve the offerings at the fair by discontinuing those things that don't work and trying new things," said Dick Sullwold, president of the Fair Board. "It seems to be working because the attendance continues to increase and the revenue generated by the fair continues to increase. "Our goal is to have plenty of events to attend while at the fair," he continued.
This year's Fun Fest has a lot more on its plate than previous years. With the addition of kids' games and inflatable amusements at the festival grounds, families will be able to hang out at the community gathering longer and not have to spend an arm and a leg in the process. A petting zoo and an expanded music line-up will also liven things up at the Fun Fest grounds across from WITC and St. Croix Press. The American Legion Post is zipping up its offerings to "put a little life into the north side," said member John Johnston.
A tug-o-war over the sale of a dilapidated home in New Richmond was decided after the state awarded the city $70,000 to fix up the place. At the regular New Richmond City Council meeting Monday, Jessa Nelson, city housing coordinator, reported that the city was awarded an additional $400,000 in grant monies for its new low- and moderate-income housing program. The city initially received under $250,000 to start a program offering no-interest loans to homeowners who wanted to upgrade their houses.
Everybody loves a parade, but can they find it? Russ Korpela, New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce executive director, admits there might be some confusion with this year's Fun Fest parade plans. The annual event has been moved to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 15, instead of the traditional Sunday time slot. The parade route has also been shifted off of Knowles Avenue, due to road construction issues. The parade will follow a route down East Sixth Street, north on South Arch Avenue, and east of East Third Street.
Russ Korpela paints a promising picture for the future of Fun Fest in New Richmond. As he stands on the new grounds for the annual community festival, the executive director of the New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce enthusiastically explains the planned lay-out. "Once people see it, they'll come to appreciate how much nicer it sets up than city streets," Korpela says. "Green grass is better than city streets. It will encourage people to come to the festival and stay longer." The midway of rides, provided by Christman Amusements, will sit in the St.
State law changes may force New Richmond to change its park fee policy for new development. In the past, the city has charged about $950 for each new home to help cover the cost of new parks and park development.
So much for trying to do the right thing. Jason Pape, president of New Richmond Transport, wanted to secure financing for his local business but the loan process uncovered a problem with his property. Seems the company's maintenance shop, which has been home to a variety of businesses since the 1970s, was never properly zoned nor was a conditional use permit ever issued. As a result, Pape's attorney Nick Vivian said, the company approached the city to see what could be done about the situation. Their hope was that the city would amend its ordinance to allow for a conditional use permit in
The City of New Richmond is willing to limit potential growth for the next 20 years if surrounding townships will cooperate with its planning goals. For the past year, officials with the city and representatives from the towns of Richmond, Stanton, Star Prairie and Erin Prairie have been meeting periodically to negotiate possible joint boundary agreements. City officials met with the town boards of Richmond and Star Prairie again last week. Significant progress appeared to be made with Star Prairie representatives.