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Ordinance could change look of Wausau city sidewalksSubmitted: 06/13/2013
Ordinance could change look of Wausau city sidewalks
Story By Adam Fox

WAUSAU - If you frequent the sidewalks of downtown Wausau, you could soon notice less room to walk.

That's because a new ordinance allows you to eat and drink on city sidewalks.

The Wausau City Council passed the ordinance earlier this week.

Restaurants will be allowed to set up cafés outside of their buildings.

Orval Quamme owns a yogurt shop in downtown Wausau. He thinks the change will attract more business.


"I think it's a terrific idea, absolutely terrific, Quamme said. "I think the business will capitalize on that because open air dining is a terrific thing."

But everyone isn't happy.

Another ordinance passed says mobile food vendors can't work within 75 feet of restaurants selling similar items.

Karla Van Wagner owns the Yo Chubby Gringo cart.

She has made a petition online with 180 signatures hoping to decrease the distance from 75 feet to 25 feet.

Michael Vraney is a downtown customer. He says both sides need to find a compromise.

"The point is for everyone to be sustainable and make a profit," Vraney said. "Having food trucks and restaurants are good for Wausau. I think everyone can win if they come to an agreement."

The new ordinances will be tested this Wednesday, June 19, when the summer Concerts on the Square begin.

The event starts at 6 pm.


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VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County prides itself on its miles of trails. Whether it's cross country skiing, walking or biking, there are plenty of options. But one of the longest is the Heart of Vilas County bike system.

"We have 47 miles of paved bike trails. I don't think that any place in the state can match that, it's awesome," said Mary Vangrinsven.

Those nearly 50 miles make up the Heart of Vilas County Bike Trail.

"It's like being on vacation every day of my life," said Vangrinsven.

When the trail started nearly 20 years ago, bikers, walkers and runners were very excited.
"I was pretty amazed by how much use it was getting. I wondered if this was just a fad or whether it was something real," said Vangrinsven.

But it was real. The finished trail goes through four different communities.

"It's been a great addition to what you can do in Vilas County," said Ken Wiesner.

Bikers can go from St. Germain to Manitowish Waters and hit up Sayner and Boulder Junction along the way.

"In my opinion, it's really changed the local economy for the better," said Wiesner.

Every Wednesday, a group of nearly 50 people bike along a part of the Heart of Vilas County Bike trail.

"I think we're really finding, especially in the areas up here, that we have very active adults," said Vangrinsven.

Wiesner and his wife Barb joined the group because they have a cabin in Vilas County.

"We've made a lot of new friends over the past 10 years, primarily in the biking," said Wiesner.

Whether you do it with a group of friends, or by yourself, there's also something to enjoy along the trail.

There are shops along the trail to rent bikes if you don't have one. If you would like more information on the trail, click on the link below.

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