Taxpayers Win as Wausau Kills Bird Sculpture Project

MacIver News Service | March 25, 2014


[Wausau, Wisc…] Taxpayers in Wausau have finally been heard, and the city’s second phase for financing a road-beautification project that features costly bird sculptures was voted down on Monday.

The MacIver News Service previously highlighted the city’s east side improvements that included numerous bird sculptures scattered throughout the Highway 52 median in phase one of the project. The initial stage of the project carried a $112,000 price tag.

The city had budgeted an additional $220,000 for Highway 52 Parkway improvements in 2014 but concerns about the project’s cost and legality were raised in recent months, leading the Wausau’s Economic Development and Finance committees to put an end to the second phase of the project for the city’s western entrance.

Wausau violated multiple state laws by paying seven companies to complete the project without allowing for competitive bidding from the public or other vendors.

Original Article Posted at 8:44AM on November 1, 2013:

[Wausau, Wisc…] A plan to improve Wausau’s west-side entrance includes $48,000 worth of 18 metal bird sculptures, all at taxpayer expense. The total for the Highway 52 improvement project rang in at $112,000, meaning that the birds accounted for about 43% of the overall cost. Other enhancements included landscaping and lighting.

So what do the taxpayers of Wausau think of these new bird sculptures? Wausau Daily Herald took to reader comments on their website and social media pages, finding several less than pleased reviews. Sara Seubert said, “They are absolutely hideous and cause unnecessary distraction at two of the busiest intersections in Wausau. Huge waste of money.” Barb Morgan was also unhappy with the city’s budget choice saying, “Instead of wasting money, how about some tax relief? There were many other places this money could have done some real good.”

If you were a member of the Wausau community how would you feel about this project expenditure?

You can view the full story from the Wausau Daily Herald here.