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Mayor's Column

Mayor’s Column — Downtown Progress and Cultural Improvements

Mayor’s Column September 23rd, 2023
Rohn Bishop, Mayor of Waupun

Hello Waupun!

On Monday and Tuesday, the UW Extension Design Wisconsin Team visited Waupun. We toured the downtown business district, and then had discussions with business owners, government leaders, high school students, and other stakeholders about what we want to do to keep downtown Waupun the place people want to be. It was a good experience that to me, mostly confirmed that Waupun is on the right course.

Discussion centered on cleaning up the back sides of the buildings, expanding parking by making the city lots one ways, burying the overhead utility wires – both for more parking and aesthetics- along with more trees, and art. These are awesome ideas that Waupun is already working on!

Seeing all the hard work and dedication that our downtown business members are putting into improving Waupun only reinforces me to keep up the pressure on the dilapidated buildings. This week, I attended a meeting with both the building owner and residents of the “Golden Cup” building. At times it was a confrontational meeting, but I was assured that progress is being made and ramping up. The garbage has been cleaned out, the fly infestation is over, the old Golden Cup sign is to be removed, the pigeons will be dealt with, and that the building can be inspected for structural issues.

Waupun has so many positive improvements going on, and deserves better than what that building has been! I know it’s not the only problematic building, but it’s likely the worst. I will continue to ramp up code enforcement in an effort to help beautify Waupun and boost property values.

I can also say we’re making progress with a few other properties scattered around Waupun. Just this past week Waupun PD worked with a location on Gateway Drive. That business person was very apologetic and is cleaning up his property. We’re slowly but surely making some progress on the Fox Lake Road property, and I have personally visited with a downtown service station owner who has also assured me he will prioritize making his place look better.

Hopefully this creates momentum and we continue to improve Waupun!

Quick hits: The Recording Angel Rededication is only a couple weeks away on October 7, as is the Waupun Community Players performance. I believe they’re still looking for one actor, so if you’re interested, let them know!

On October 6 WTMJ radio will be broadcasting live from Waupun as we kick off our celebratory weekend, that afternoon will be the Homecoming Parade, and that evening will be the downtown beer walk.

I’m excited to say that I’ve been working with a local artist on a mural or two for Waupun. We’ve agreed they should be “Waupun themed” and tie in the marsh, sculptures, prisons, rivets, etc. This will really brighten up a wall, look nice, and celebrate Waupun!

I still have a goal of adding a sculpture of the sculptor to our collection. I think it would be appropriate for Waupun to have a statue of Clarence Shaler, probably at Harris Park overlooking two of the sculptures he gifted to Waupun. This will take a fundraising effort, but please stay tuned!

Finally, this Tuesday at 2pm is the groundbreaking for the new Community Center on McKinley Street. Hope to see you there!

Thank you and God Bless,

Mayor Rohn