Digging began a couple of weeks ago on the new site for a strip mall off STH 54 next to the new Arby’s in Black River Falls.  Developer Todd Waller of Lee & Associates said the 7,000 square-foot space should be completed by September.

Waller said Cell-Plus and TRICOR Insurance are the first two lessees going into the mall.  “We have space for up to three more,” explained Waller, “depending on the space they would need.”

“Yes, we are super, super excited to have the opportunity to expand,” Cell-Plus store manager Nancy Stevens said.  “It cements our commitment to the Black River Falls area.  We’re hoping to move in to our new store by early fall.”

“It’s our understanding sometime this fall we’re moving,” Black River Falls TRICOR Branch anager Howard Gomer also confirmed.

“I am really looking forward to he construction of a new multi-unit retail building next to the new Arby’s Restaurant on STH 54,” shared Black River Falls Administrator Brad Chown.  “This facility will provide new retail space for some local businesses and will bring in new companies looking to establish a presence in Black River Falls/  We are very fortunate to have so much new development occurring in the city which should be a catalyst for even more business and residential growth in our community.”

By JoDee Brooke / Banner Journal / July 12, 2017



Black River Falls Street Department Supervisor Todd Gomer fills a tank Tuesday to haul to Clifton and Forrest streets to water down gravel and keep the dust in check. He said de-watering of Gordon Street should begin next week if all goes as planned.






Dennis Jelinek, shown in front of his home Tuesday, has lived on Gordon Street for 45 years. He looks forward to a reconstruction project for the street which is long overdue, he said.




Gordon Street resident Dennis Jelinek said though he didn’t like how the city handled a reconstruction project at first, he is happy knowing that it is moving forward and hopes it will alleviate the “river of water, sand and grass clippings” the street turns into during heavy rain.

If all goes as planned, “de-watering” will begin on the street next week, Street Department Supervisor Todd Gomer said. Then comes reconstruction and sewer work.

“At first they didn’t handle it right because they kept promising they’d do it,” Jelinek, a 45-year-Gordon Street resident, said of the city’s failure to get the project going. But they didn’t. Jelinek started a petition, gathering about 60 signatures, asking Black River Falls’ leaders to make the street a priority.

The city listened, he said. That’s a relief for Gomer. “I hope I don’t have anybody upset anymore,” he said Tuesday while pointing out issues with the street that cause runoff and water back-up problems. Plans were made to fix neighboring Forrest and Clifton streets before Gordon, leaving neighbors upset. Gomer encouraged citizens to go to city meetings and they did, which got the ball rolling. “They actually know everything that’s going on now.”

Then came rain, rain and more rain, which seeped its way into the construction project before it even began.

The Common Council was given good and bad news in the same announcement from Gomer that there was a fix for the street’s issues, but it would come at a cost.

A company could be brought in to de-water the area and make things workable, but the city would have to pay $20,500, putting the street department over budget. Gomer stressed that the Gordon Street project was the biggest concern for his department at the time though as the de-watering needed to happen before any construction could take place and there wasn’t much of an option to put it off.

The official decision from the Common Council had to be put off until the next meeting, leaving the residents waiting for an answer.

At a council meeting July 6 it was time for the council to make a decision, but one question lingered.

“How will we pay for it?” Alderperson John Ross said.

The new project was set to put the Street Department over budget, but City Administrator Brad Chown said it would still remain within the city’s planned borrowing.

The council approved it in hopes crews could get back to work.

Jelinek hopes once the project is complete his neighbors don’t have to worry about sewage backups and he doesn’t have to worry about his home when he goes on trips.
Stephen Knoll & Jennifer McBride River Valley Media Group / Jul 12, 2017


The Hoffman Aquatic Center is finally open now that repairs to the furnace that heats the water has been replaced.  Daily rates or the center remain the same as last year, but membership rates have been reduced because of the late start.  The aquatic center is open Monday-Saturday 11:30 am, to 7:00 pm and Sundays 12:30 pm to 7:00 pm.

Thank you to the Lunda Community Center and the Melrose community pool for helping out with extended hours and employing several Hoffman Aquatic Center lifeguards until we were ready to open!