SPOONER, WI -- It's spring 2021, and just like you can't see the flowers underground yet, you know they will soon be making their grand entrance and changing the landscape for the better.
The same holds true for the town of Spooner. For the next two years, the city will go through its metamorphosis from an ugly pupa stage to a beautiful butterfly.
According to Spooner City Administrator Bill Marx, the old post office at the east end of Walnut Street was purchased by the city and is slated for removal. In its wake will be a lovely green space that will enhance the sizeable new Railroad Park project. The park will focus on the old railroad turntable on the south side of the property, turning the grubby railroad treasure into a modern Event Center.
A new picnic pavilion has already been built, and bike and walking paths leading to the north, where the rest of the park will be located.
Volleyball courts will be added this summer, as well as generous amounts of landscaping to make the park attractive.
The intersection of Hwys. 70 and 63 will be widened on all four corners to allow more room for semi-trucks to make their turns by shaving off the property on all four sides.
McDonald's has purchased the building to the east of it that currently houses the laundromat and conference rooms. The building will be torn down to install a double drive-thru area, which will reduce the number of cars trying to squeeze into line without their vehicle sticking out into traffic.
Close to a hundred years ago, Spooner made its own electricity from the dam south of town. As the city grew and more electricity was needed and, seventy years ago, the city changed to Northern States Power, and in 2013 Spooner signed with Energy Partners LLC to supply their energy needs. This power company is the one installing the 6,500 solar panels on fourteen acres of land owned by the city on the far north end. When electric costs for the city are reduced, the savings will be passed down to the customers. This is also the same company installing another substantial solar farm for the City of Rice Lake on Hwy. 53.
In 2022 major road work will begin from the bridge south of the city north to Poplar Street. This is an in-depth project with repair work on all the significant pipes under the street. The same kind of substantial work will be done on the two blocks of Spruce street this year from High Street on the east to Riverstreet on the west.
A beautiful new park, new streets, and intersections, a solar farm, to-go food faster than ever, what's not to like?
It's going to take a lot of patience until it's all done, but remember the old saying, “You've got to break a few eggs if you want to make an omelet.” And this is going to be some omelet!