The Menomonie city council on Dec. 3 approved borrowing $400,000 to replace the city’s jetter/vacuum truck next year, as part of the city’s two-year capital improvement plan for 2019 and 2020.
The city’s Vactor truck is 20 years old and has needed several repairs in the last few years, according a wastewater department memo.
The high expense is due to 600 feet of hose and high-volume water tanks for the truck to pump liquid substances and transport them, said Randy Eide, director of public works.
Menomonie has a verbal agreement with Eau Claire and Durand that allows them to ask for assistance if the city’s Vactor truck is under the weather, but with subzero temperatures, those municipalities might be reluctant to take the truck on highways, said Wastewater Superintendent Paul Sterke.
At the Dec. 3 meeting the council also reviewed a proposed traffic study on an intersection at County Highway B and Badger Drive, in north Menomonie near Interstate 94.
The study would offer possible improvements to safety at the intersection.
SRF Consulting Group of Madison had the lowest bid of $15,000 for the project. It would collect traffic data, turning counts, railroad information and crash data over the last five years, according to a memo from SRF to the city.
The city would split the cost equally with the county, said Menomonie Mayor Randy Knaack.
The city’s share of the project would be funded through tax increment district dollars, according to the city.
Another big-ticket project under review that’s slated for 2019-2020 is an $8.7 million improvement to the city’s wastewater treatment plant, said Eide.
In other city news
- Knaack presented a local group, Road 2 Freedom, with a certificate for the group’s fundraising to pay off Menomonie student lunch debt. R2F raised about $3,700 at a car and motorcycle show with the Red Cedar Classic Auto Club, and raised $22,000 in total in 2017, said R2F president Jake Farrah. The group is holding a Christmas event to give local kids Christmas gifts, the R2F Christmas Miracle, Dec. 15-16 at the Veteran’s Center, E4710 County Rd. BB, Menomonie.
- The League of American Bicyclists has designated Menomonie as a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community. There are 18 Bicycle-Friendly Communities in Wisconsin, according to the LAB’s website. Menomonie joins La Crosse, Eau Claire, Madison, Milwaukee and other communities on the list. “I think that’s good news for Menomonie,” Knaack said, saying he’s heard people compliment the city on the new pedestrian-bicycle trail over Interstate 94, which replaced a old railroad bridge in the same spot. “The more we can do the better we are.” The LAB awards cities the designation based on bicycle trails on high-speed roads, bicycle-friendly laws and ordinances and the share of transportation budgets spent on bicycling.