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Menomonie council partners with Xcel Energy for clean energy planning

Menomonie council partners with Xcel Energy for clean energy planning

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The city of Menomonie has partnered with Xcel Energy in an effort to reach its clean energy goals.

The city council approved a memorandum of understanding with Xcel Energy at its meeting Monday to participate in the planning phase of the Partners in Energy Program. This phase of the program is designed to develop an energy action plan for the city that reflects the community’s plan for energy use in the future.

The council had approved a resolution at a meeting in April that all energy use in the city be carbon-free by 2050. Steps to reach that goal include target reductions of 25 percent by 2030 and 60 percent by 2040.

Participation in the Partners in Energy program is for two years with first four to six months intended for planning. The city agreed to pay up to $15,000 to work with Xcel Energy.

Xcel Energy will assist in identifying key stakeholders to join the planning process. It will then analyze the community’s energy use, help facilitate planning sessions and provide guidance for goals and strategies to be a part of the action plan. As part of the agreement, Xcel Energy will also document the action plan and commit to completing the plan.

“We’re excited about this opportunity where we can work together with the Menomonie community to help you develop a clean energy plan that aligns with the goals that will be unique to your specific community,” Xcel Energy community services manager Bob Schultz said.

Grant could help fund road project south of middle school

After approval by the council, the city will be applying for a Community Development Block Grant. With the funds it will look to reconstruct a portion of 21st Street East by Menomonie Middle School. The project would consist of the portion of the road from Tower Ridge Avenue south to Dairyland Road.

The estimate for the project is $1.14 million, Public Works Director Randy Eide said. The grant would cover about $760,000 of the costs.

“This is a well-used road, probably something we’ve been looking at for some time to improve or at least bring it up to standards,” he said.

The project would also improve utilities to possibly help foster development in the future, Eide added.

In addition, the project would also put in raised concrete medians for protected turn lanes into the middle school parking lot. Applications are due in June, city engineer Charlie Jones said, and the city would hear back if it was approve in September. The project would begin sometime next year.

Side street parking removed for 9th Street East

The city will be removing all street parking on 9th Street East from 12th Avenue East south through 14th Avenue East. Currently parking is allowed on the west side of the 1300 block. The council approved at its last meeting the introduction of a four-way stop at the 9th Street East and 14th Avenue East intersection. The removal of parking will allow for turning movements approaching the new four-way stop. The plan includes a left turn lane to turn east on 14th Avenue East (Dairyland Road) with another lane for straight through or right-turning traffic, Eide said.

The next city council meeting is scheduled for June 1.

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