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Emergency communications to improve with equipment

Emergency communications to improve with equipment Emergency communications to improve with equipment

Cornell City Council

When it comes to emergencies, calls may go through a little clearer, with equipment that is slated to be installed on Cornell’s water tower. At a regular Cornell City Council meeting Nov. 21, an intermunicipal agreement with Chippewa County, providing for emergency radio communication equipment, was approved.

The proposal was continually pushed back by a wait on the city attorney, but, after reviewing the document, with a small rewording change, the agreement passed.

With the approval, the county will put new communication equipment near the city’s water tower to take advantage of the antenna mounted on the tower.

“It will benefit our emergency services, should benefit our residents, in creating more reliable communication in this area of the county,” said city administrator Dave DeJongh.

Currently, the ambulance service receives emergency calls from the repeater off Flambeau Mountain. Council member and emergency responder Ashley Carothers, said sometimes she gets the dispatch calls and sometimes doesn’t.

“Would you all then switch to the tower that’s right here in town or would you stay on this repeater out of Flambeau Mountain?” asked council member Aimee Korger.

Carothers said she can’t answer that question.

“I’m sure the county will decide what works best for dispatching,” said mayor Judy Talbot. “Do we get a monthly fee or something?” asked Floyd Hickethier, council member.

DeJongh says the city just had to approve the agreement, that the county will purchase, install and maintain the communications equipment. “They didn’t think a fee to us would be necessary, because they’re funding it all and we’re benefiting from it,” said DeJongh.

DeJongh also reported that the ATV/UTV route opening for the city is not a go just yet, even though an ordinance permitting city-wide routes has been adopted. The routes are on hold, as the county and state have ordered signs alerting motorists they will share roads with the smaller vehicles, but the city can’t put up their route signs until the highway signs are installed.

“Then, it’ll be legal for travel,” said DeJongh.

He also said Bill Kvapil, who originally approached the city about the open routes, wants to create a way to enter Cornell from the south with ATVs/UTVs and asked if the council members would consider signing their names to a letter asking the county for a route, thereby backing the local ATV club.

Mark Larson, council member, said he thinks it would increase tourism in the city and commerce, to have as many routes as possible open for access.

“It sure wouldn’t hurt,” said council member Steve Turany.

The council directed DeJongh to draft a letter for them to review.

After official business, Carothers asked her fellow community members to recognize Small Business Saturday (Nov. 30) and patronize local stores.

“Support small businesses, it’s the small businesses that fund the community, it’s not the big bucks,” she said.

As a reminder, Talbot says hunting season is in full swing, even in, or near, the city limits, and asked that anyone walking their dog on city streets, wear an orange vest.

“You just don’t know,” said Talbot. “Better safe, than sorry.”