City of Rhinelander


The City of Rhinelander has been given preliminary approval for money to help build a bike trail, known at the Chamber of Commerce Trail.

Late September, the city received notice of preliminary funding, pending meeting some other DNR requirements as City Administrator Kristina Aschenbrenner explains...

"....the Stewardship application for the Chamber of Commerce Trail has been tentatively selected. It will include $135,000. A 50-50 grant with work to start in 2016....."

Rhinelander is without a comprehensive recreation plan, but a five-year plan is in the works with a draft likely this fall.

The city has contracted with North Central Wisconsin Regional Planning to put together a plan.
Planner Fred Heider says Rhinelander has a number of recreational elements already in place, including several parks, walking paths, BMX track and a 2003 Pathways Project, which spelled out hiking and biking trails in the city.

Heider says an earlier survey of Rhinelander residents found this breakdown of preferred recreational activities...

MSA Professional Services

The city of Rhinelander’s finance committee has signed off on a plan for building the first part of a nonmotorized trail near the Pelican River.

The committee agreed to put forward about $130,000  if matching grant money comes in.

Council member Alex Young says the a ten-foot wide paved trail would connect hotels along Kemp Street, the Chamber of Commerce, and the new boat landing on Boyce Drive.

Next April, Rhinelander voters will see an advisory referendum  whether the city should petition the legislature to become the next community with a Premier Resort Area Tax.

The question asks whether the city should levy one-half cent on a dollar sales tax on tourist-related  items.

The money raised could only be used to upgrade infrastructure, namely city streets. The city could like to fix Lincoln Street from Oneida to Eisenhower Parkway, Stevens Street, Boyce Drive and Oneida Avenue, totaling some $2 million dollars.

A donation will enable the unused skate park behind the Rhinelander police and fire building to once again open.

Many years ago, a skateboard park was built just off the downtown. The park at Phillip and Alban streets has sat idle for a time. At last night's city council meeting, council member Sherri Belliveau said  a citizen came forward with a donation...

Rhinelander's City Administrator would like the city council to consider a revenue generator used by other communities with lots of tourists: a premier resort tax.

It's a local retail sales tax where the municipality may only use the proceeds  to pay for infrastructure expenses within the municipality. Eagle River has a half of one percent premier resort  tax.


The Oneida county board has signed off on a plan to help the city of Rhinelander dispose of the hazardous Lindey Cleaners property downtown.

The former owners owe about $70,000 in back taxes, but the county was hesitant to foreclose because of the chemicals in the former dry cleaners. The city and county have reached agreement for the county to convey the property to the city, with the city paying 2014 fees.


Rhinelander was selected as one of 49 communities across the U.S. as a national Earth Day recepient by the Department of Agriculture. As part of the designation, the city received a total of $3.7 million in grant and lower-interest loans to upgrade sewer and storm water systems.

USDA Rural Development State Director Stan Gruszynski presented Mayor Dick Johns with an award recognizing the city's initiative toward improving water quality...

Applying for a $1.6 million dollar federal grant was approved by the Rhinelander city council Monday night. But it left questions in the minds of some council members.

If approved by the feds, the grant would be the initial money to redo the underground infrastructure along Brown Street and downtown. The grant would be for 2016 and 2017, a year later than earlier sought.

While the matter had been in two committees, council members Alex Young and Steve Sauer both objected to the speed which the large project...potentially $9 million dollars...was going through council...

No decision on a controversial Community Based Residential Facility on West Phillip Street in Rhinelander.

Temperatures have gotten warmer above the ground, but temperatures below ground is the concern as Rhinelander and Tomahawk residents are being asked to continue running their water to avoid freeze ups.

Rhinelander City Administrator Blaine Oborn says, for now, to continue running the pencil-sized stream of water...

".....the plan of the city is to keep it running. We're still thawing and wierd things happen when it thaws, so as a precautionary measure and to avoid further freezeups, we're still advising residents to continue running their water...."

A city of Rhinelander  alderperson has filed an open meetings complaint against the Rhinelander Tourism Marketing committee, otherwise known as the Room Tax committee.

Alex Young filed the complaint with the Oneida County District Attorney's office. In the complaint, Young says the committee is created by the council, and as such, falls under the Open Meetings law.

Young alleges the committee met April 2 without posting a timely notice it was going to meet. Unless an emergency, public meetings need to be posted at least 24 hours prior to meeting time.

Downtown Rhinelander, Inc.

Downtown Rhinelander, Inc. and the city are in the planning stages for a projected $8 million makeover of the streets and infrastructure downtown within two years. The first bit of funding for the effort might be coming in.

City Administrator Blaine Oborn said they've heard from the Department of Agriculture...

  As part of a re-worked Rhinelander comprehensive plan, city officials soon will be asking citizens what they want to see for outdoor recreation. North Central Wisconsin Regional Commission planner Fred Heider says he asked the city for their recreational plans so they also could be put into the Oneida county recreational plan. He says city officials had a number of ideas...  

Downtown Rhinelander, Inc.

  Last week, the Rhinelander city council approved a $20,000 commitment to bolster an effort to help businesses downtown redo their facades. The money is contingent on another $60,000 state grant being available. The city is also planning a major utility upgrade down Brown Street in 2016. The street would also have a new look after construction. Downtown Rhinelander Incorporated Director Maggie Steffen says that group is working toward an eventual $250,000 program so downtown businesses can redo the front of their buildings if they choose...