After taking a one year pause from in-person meetings due to COVID-19, the Amery Community Club met at the Amery Middle School March 1.
President Tom Hartmann welcomed attendees to the first meeting held in a year. He said he looks forward to the Club continuing to meet face-to-face. He shared the Board of Directors has been continuing to meet over the past year. “We realize that it has been a very challenging year for many people both professionally and personally and we have not taken that lightly. We plan to do our best to do whatever we can do to support the Amery businesses. We realize it is important now more than ever,” said Hartmann. He said the Board is open to suggestions and encouraged members to call or email any of the Board members with questions or feedback.
President Hartmann recognized two Past Presidents who passed away over the past year. Dennis John, 1980 President and Nora Schafer, 1997 President.
He said that while it was important to take everyone’s health and safety into consideration, there were many successful things that took place in Amery over the past year including: Raising funds to support businesses through the pandemic, Thursday night concert series, Sidewalk hearts, Farmers Market, July Fourth Fireworks, Fall Festiday, Trick-or-Treating and the Holiday Stroll. “We know many towns have struggled over the past year. Thanks to your commitment these events helped keep our businesses going and helped lift up our community members, so thank-you,” said Hartmann.
Fall Festival representatives, Josh and Lindsey Pratt and Dakota Cavalier said last year’s Fall Festiday was successful. The Dweebs have been booked for 2021 Fall Festival (Sept. 16-19). They are debating whether the location of Downtown or Michael Park is the better location to hold festivities. There will be a new carnival company this year as Earl’s Rides is out of business.
Music on the River representative Tom Bensen said their committee had negotiated with last year’s bands (that had to be cancelled) to play during the MOTR 2021 series and all agreed. In June, The Good, the Bad and the Funky will be headlining. In July, Kyle Tennis and the Riverside Hitmen will be returning to headline. In August Hitchville will be headlining. Anyone who sponsored last year will have the donation rolled over to this year. Anyone else who would like to sponsor can contact the committee. There are various levels available and you are included in approximately 30 different marketings.
Heather Eggert from Wapo introduced Pastor Suzi Orlopp, Director of Programs and Retreats. Eggert said Phase One of Wapo’s building project has started. She said it would add a lot of extra dining space for them. She invited everyone to drive through and check out the changes. Donations are still needed for Phase Two of the project. Campers are headed back to Wapo this summer at a reduced capacity. The Hackers and Whackers Golf Tourney will take place in July and Summer Boat-In Sunday morning worships will take place from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Mayor Paul Isakson gave an overview of 2020 including: Purchase of the Bremer Bank building, Creation of virtual meetings, Passing of Poultry ordinance, Decision to put road in at South Industrial Park, Application for Safe Drinking Water funds, Amery Ale Works being named as a top Wisconsin brewery, Condo units being sold back to Amery Hospital and Clinic, Eric Elkin being appointed as Alderperson At Large, Hiring of Ayres for City Center project, Sale of current City Hall, Update of City website, Approval to move Dog Park to Soldier’s Field, Approval of $30,000 to the Amery Cemetery Association, Clayton and Black Brook joining the Municipal Court, Soldier’s Field was put up for sale, 3.5M budget for City Center and a Fire Committee was formed with Alden, Lincoln, Black Brook and the City.
Mayor Isakson said 2021 sees a significant investment into the City of Amery. Workforce Housing is coming, a new Bremer Bank Building, the new City Center, new Industrial growth south of town and the Road Diet. “The total dollar value of that is 13.6 million dollars,” said Isakson.
Mayor Isakson said the Road Diet would be split into different phases. Signs will be put up to help people figure out how to get to Amery businesses. The Wisconsin D.O.T. will help re-route big rigs around town. A pre-construction meeting will take place the week of March 15. They are planning to start April 1st, which leaves two weeks of preparation. Commercial Promotions is working on a program to keep business coming into Amery. The project should take four months. The WDOT will come in and mill the road afterwards so town will have all new blacktop. Parking will be open on Keller when certain sections are not being worked on.
Tracy Hendrickson said Design Amery, which was cancelled due to COVID-19 last year is being rescheduled for 2021. Donations given last year will transfer over to make the project possible this year so community members can talk about the strengths, weaknesses and needs of Amery. It is tentatively scheduled for October 21-23.