First commercial building on Romsos Avenue

 Workers for Rice Lake-based Brueggen Construction were busy Thursday, July 15, 2021, working on the exterior of the future home of Solution Heating & Cooling, Inc. It’s the first structure to be built in the new Romsos Avenue industrial park in the village. Photo by Bob Zientara

Business partners Joe Chaplin and Nathan Redlich, both of whom are Barron High School graduates, have operated Rice Lake-based Solution Heating & Cooling for more than a decade.

“We are now in year 12,” Chaplin said Monday, July 19, 2021. “We both grew up in Barron, both of us went to technical college, and we worked for local competitors before we decided to jump in and start our own business out of our garages.”

The business has grown to the point where it employs four workers besides the owners, and serves an area that includes (according to its website) Rice Lake, Barron, Cameron, Chetek, Spooner, Shell Lake and the surrounding areas in northwest Wisconsin.

When Redlich and Chaplin decided to relocate their business to a new home, they ended up choosing Romsos Avenue, in Cameron, a commercial development financed and built by the village in 2020.

The more than $1 million project is approaching completion along the east side of County Hwy. SS, just to the south of the Mosaic Technologies property.

When finished, it will include a 40-foot wide street, curbs and gutters, and streetlights, according to Rice Lake-based Cooper Engineering, which was responsible for planning the project.

The new street is named after the Lee and Susan Romsos family, who own land to the east of where the street ends.

Chaplin said the partners chose the Cameron site because it’s centrally located.

“I live in Cameron, Nate is in Rice Lake,” he said. “We were looking for a place big enough to accept deliveries and get materials, one that wasn’t far from the interchange (of U.S. Highways 8 and 53).

“We had checked Rice Lake but there didn’t seem to be a lot of opportunities for us,” Chaplin added. “The village (of Cameron) was very receptive and worked with us on purchasing the land.”

When finished, the new building will enclose 3,600 square feet and include a work/storage area with overhead doors, and an office.

According to its website, the business offers repairs for heating/cooling equipment, replacement and/or retrofitting of existing systems, and new construction.

“We don’t plan on changing our services, but we would like to add a couple people to our staff,” Chaplin said.

Eventually, those additional staff could include someone to keep office hours and handle walk-in trade, he added.

But, for now, the main goal is to finish the building, according to Chaplin.

The post-pandemic economy has managed to delay that process, he added.

“We wanted a July opening,” Chaplin said. “But it’s been a tough year getting materials. Our garage doors have been here since March, but the springs have yet to arrive. And our roof is almost done, but (the suppliers) ran out of steel.”

Unless there are more unforeseen delays, the partners are hoping to move in by the end of August or the start of September 2021, he added.