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Politics & Government

Upgrades To Hodag Park Under Consideration

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A Rhinelander committee has given initial blessings to the idea of a new band shell and an upgrade at Hodag Park, next to Boom Lake.

City Council member Sherrie Belliveau chairs the Parks committee. She says after an comprehensive review of city parks last year by a task force, the recommendation was to find more uses for the parks. She says Hodag Park is under utilized. She says not all that long ago, it was a busy place...

"....back in the day when I first moved here and I was in the Jaycees we ran the 4th of July festivities at Hodag Park. It was a hopping place. It was full. We had vendors everywhere. We had bands throughout the day. It would be nice to bring the park back to that kind of glory as a destination place for families to listen to music and have concession stands available...."

The Friends of Rhinelander Parks made the offer to pay for a park upgrade. From the group's Facebook page they suggest a year round, updated restooms-concession stand and performance area. Belliveau says an initial concept from architect Jeff Musson was brought forward, but until the snow is off the ground they can't do any measurements at the park. Belliveau describes a possible band shell...

"..originally it was going to be a performance bowl with a stamped concrete pad. We had some concerns because it would have no cover. Now it would be a covered bandstand type facility, maybe with a backing to it. We made sure it wasn't facing west so there wouldn't be sun issues, electricity would be put in there. It's considerable bigger than the current community band shell by Trig's..."

Belliveau says it is unknown how long it will be once all the bids are in and concepts approved before the improvements at Hodag Park are in place. Also Monday evening, the Rhinelander city council approved the hiring of Green Golf Partners to take over management of the Northwood Golf Club. The same firm did a consultant review that recommended changes after a city audit found the course owed the city more than a million dollars.

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