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Rhinelander's mayor seeks competitors in 'Curbside Appeal Contest'Submitted: 06/21/2018
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

Rhinelander's mayor seeks competitors in 'Curbside Appeal Contest'
RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's new mayor wants to turn his city into "the best city in America."  It's tough to quantify or gauge that ambitious goal, but Chris Frederickson thinks a curbside appeal project could be a great first step and it's all about using people's desire to compete.

Frederickson launched his Civic Pride Curbside Appeal Contest this week.  The mayor will find 10 homeowners along River Street -- one of the busier streets in town -- willing to have their lawns groomed, primped, and prettied for free.  Homeowners need to sign an easement agreement with the city to allow the work and contest to happen on their properties.

Frederickson will then pair off competitors into five groups of similar backgrounds (i.e. banks vs. banks, dentists vs. doctors, police vs. firefighters) to actually do the yard work. Frederickson says competing groups can decide what features they want to include and how much money to spend.

"It's up to them, completely," Frederickson said. "So, hopefully the competitive juices get flowing and we rock it out of the park."

Frederickson's plan comes after the city started boosting its nuisance property ordinance enforcement in recent years. But the mayor says this has nothing to do with eyesores. Instead, he just wants to see Rhinelander take pride in its appearance.

"It's not necessarily made to say, this property needed to be cleaned up. It has to do with what can we do to make it better? Period point blank," Frederickson said.

Frederickson came up with the idea from his parents, who he says always worked in their gardens at home and shared ideas with neighbors. The mayor says Governor Walker's office staff has talked to him about sharing the idea with other communities.

"I think everyone understands competition, everybody understands how that pushes a little bit harder and it creates something, creates that positive movement," Frederickson said.

A panel of judges will choose a winner Labor Day weekend.  Frederickson would like to see how the contest goes this summer, then expand it in future years.

Frederickson is still looking for a few competitors to sign up. You can contact the mayor's office at 715-365-8600 for more info.

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