Dan & JoAnn Russler
Dan & JoAnn welcome you to HealthinBulk, an exciting, 2019 experiment in sustainable community, located in Helenville, Wisconsin. For our retirement, we are envisioning unique projects that can be launched from our new residence in Helenville, the 1914 German American Bank.
The "Who" in our community begins with the residents of Helenville, our closest neighbors. But "Who" also extends to our Town of Jefferson, our Jefferson County and our Wisconsin.
According to Jefferson County Zoning, Helenville is a "hamlet." Tongue in cheek, we tell people we live in the Hamlet of Helenville, but it's not all in fun. In Jefferson County, hamlets are given many opportunities via the "Community Zoning" regulations. Community zoning protects and promotes unincorporated communities full of people who worked out of their homes and served agricultural areas for generations. Think of the shopkeepers, craft trades and family farmers who have supported Helenville since the beginning.
In planning for the future, our sights are set on new ways to enable the property to support our neighbors, as well as provide a residence for ourselves. To that end, we have been surveying Helenville neighbors for suggestions. Our most common response?
"A place for quiet conversation in the mornings, like a coffee shop."
In followup discussions, we found that Helenville has no place for residents to assemble informally during the morning, although other assembly locations open in time for lunch. In addition, some organizations might like to assemble more formally. We've found the volunteer firehouse meeting room does host some community events, but it isn't open on a regular basis. We also found our parking lot has been heavily used by residents and visitors during events like the Helenville Christmas Parade. Finally, we've found local officials helpful in identifying permitting opportunities in our neighborhood.
To our east, the Post Office shares a building with several families. To the west, past a single family home are the former creamery, a busy farm insurer, and a popular local restaurant and bar. Over the years, these older buildings have all cycled through uses as residences and businesses, serving Helenville in multiple ways. Our building used to be the Helenville community bank, erected in 1914 and updated in 2002.