Christmas Season Kickoff This Saturday

There’s a full slate of holiday events in downtown TR this Saturday.

At the J.E. Hamilton Community House, there’s a holiday craft and vendor event in the Rocheleau Gym from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Most of the 30-plus vendors will be sticking around longer, if you want to stop in following the parade on Saturday night. Admission is free.

There’s also a 3D card workshop, downstairs in the Behringer Room. Stop by between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM. There’s a $5 fee for the workshop; $2 for each additional card. (Try finding a two dollar card at Hallmark.)

Over at the historic Washington House, the TR Historical Society is offering a full afternoon of free activities for kids: making cards, frosting cookies, playing games and enjoying story time with Mrs. Claus. There’s also free hot chocolate and cider, and for just a dollar you can get a hot dog and chips or decorate your own sundae.

The Christmas Fantasy Parade, organized by Two Rivers Main Street, marches down Washington Street at 5:30 PM.

The parade ends at the J.E. Hamilton Community House, where kids can visit with Santa and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate (compliments of the Honey Pot) in the fireplace lobby after the parade.

New Retail Businesses

Use the long holiday weekend as an opportunity to visit TR’s two newest businesses.

Klein Hardware has been open for a week now, at 2206 Forest Avenue, where owner Nathan Klein also operates Klein Custom Woodworking.

No need to waste an hour running to the big box when you can take care of your basic hardware needs here in town. They have snow shovels, too.

Homestead Outlet, 1618 Washington Street. just opened its doors this week.

It’s an honest to goodness outlet store, offering savings of up to 90 percent on outdoor cooking supplies, housewares and game processing items. The same items you could find, at much higher prices, in major sporting goods and housewares stores.

In a preview visit to the store on Monday night, there were bargains to be had on products ranging from stock pots to electric smokers, food choppers to meat grinders, deep fryers to sausage stuffers.

Just in time for processing that big buck (for not a lot of bucks) or for holiday giving.
Shop Small, Shop Local

Independent small businesses are vitally important to any community. They can only survive and thrive if local residents recognize their value and support them.

So, whether in lieu of the insanity of Black Friday, or as a relaxing excursion after dealing with the madness at the malls, check out our local Two Rivers businesses this weekend. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Storm Water Charges Now on Utility Bills

Monthly charges for the City’s new storm water utility began appearing on City utility bills this month. The charge for single family residences is $2.88 per month. Charges for other properties vary, based on the amount of “impervious surface” on the parcel.

The utility is being “phased in,” at a rate equal to half of what will eventually be charged. Current plans call for full rate ($5.75 per month for single family homes) to commence in 2015.

In implementing this utility, Two Rivers joins the ranks of dozens of other Wisconsin communities that are using such charges as a dedicated financing source for investing in their storm water infrastructure.

The $332,000 that will be collected by this utility in 2015 will be invested in video inspecting, maintaining and repairing existing storm sewers and in extending storm sewers to areas that currently lack such facilities.

The City will also start building a fund balance in this utility, in order to be able to finance large future projects through the issuance of utility revenue bonds.

(You need to show that the fund is financially strong in order to issue such bonds, whose repayment is from utility funds, not property taxes.)

Two Rivers City Manager Greg Buckley can be contacted by calling 920.793.5532 or by e-mailing gbuckley@two-rivers.org.

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