Richland Center City Council August 21st Meeting

Residents in the City of Richland Center will see a new method of handling recyclables in the near future. The Richland Center City Council approved an amended contract with Town and Country Sanitation Tuesday evening, August 21st, that includes the elimination of the blue recycling bins.

The blue bins will replaced with a tote similar to what residents currently have for garbage. It will also mean that trucks and trailers will no longer be used to pick up the recyclables and the collection schedule will be every-other-week. Town and Country will be providing city residents more information in the future about all aspects of the change. The new totes will be delivered to city residents.

The Council also approved an ordinance related to lead pipe service line replacement in the city. Steve Krueger, Superintendent of City Utilities–Water explained that the ordinance is a step in the right direction that will open doors to offer assistance to eliminate lead and galvanized service lines. The ordinance will require an evaluation of a residence's service pipe when the utility is doing work on the city side of the connection during construction. If the service line is lead or galvanized pipe, it would need to be replaced at that time. Krueger said that by passing the ordinance, the utility could open some doors for possible assistance to city homeowners through the public service commission. The water utility is building a database of lead and galvanized service pipes when changing water meters. Steve Krueger said the utility knows of four service pipes that are lead and that the homeowners are aware. If you are curious about your water service, Krueger said it is best to look at the pipe in the basement feeding the water meter. Most are copper, but if yours is silver colored, it might be lead. You can contact City Utilities Water to learn more.

Steve Krueger also reported to the council that an unabandoned well has been discovered near the UW Platteville Richland dorms where the Panorama Estates construction is taking place. Krueger said that the well needs to be properly abandoned. The issue is that the well, which was under a poured concrete sidewalk, is on property owned by the Wisconsin DOT. Krueger has been in contact with the utility representative from the DOT to try and resolve the issue. The council approved hiring a licensed well-driller or pump installer to abandon the well properly if the state fails to act in a timely manner. Krueger said the action is necessary to make sure the city's well which is in the vicinity is not compromised.

L.E.D. lighting is saving the city energy and money. City Utilities Electric Superintendent Dale Bender reported that figures show the savings estimates were pretty much on track with actual figures. Bender used the Brewer Library, City Hall and the lighting on the dike as examples. Kilowatt hour savings at the Brewer Library were 25.6% for the first six months of this year; City Hall 25.3% and the dike lighting 55.5%. The total kilowatt savings for the three areas was 29% for the first six months of the year. Bender said that the savings show the LED upgrade was a good investment that will offer strong payback. It will take less than 2.4 years for the city with all LED lighting to recover the 97 thousand dollar investment. The ten year projected savings for the city thanks to the LED upgrade will be $282,000.

The Council approved the picnic license application for Richland Rejuvenates that will pave the way for the community's first ever beer walk Friday, September 14th. 16 downtown businesses will participate in the first beer walk.

The City of Richland Center will be looking a dilapidated buildings hoping to find ways to deal with properties that need attention or need to be razed. The Council approved $5,000 to be used between now and the end of the year for services to move toward the goal of dealing with problem structures.

Mayor Mike Kaufman said that there has been a lot of positive activity surrounding the trip to Richland Center's sister city in China. Local citizens will leave October 23 and return by the end of the month. The mayor said he has been pleased to learn about businesses who are very interested in the effort to connect with the city of “Youching” for good will and possible development of markets. The UW Platteville Richland will also be actively involved. One interesting aspect of the trip will be a chance to visit a sister factor of Richland Center's foundry, Allied Machine on the way to Youching. Individuals who are a part of the delegation to China from Richland Center will be paying their own way entirely. No taxpayer dollars will be used for the trip. Mayor Kaufman said that officials in Youching are excited to host visitors from Richland Center and that he is excited with the interest that has been expressed.