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Cornell City Council; Old model water meters need updating, says DNR

Bulk purchasing is often the way go, which is why it was decided at a Finance Committee meeting Jan. 7, prior to a regular Cornell City Council meeting, that 144 water meters would be bought, for a cost of $31,680.

If the city did not purchase the meters in bulk, each meter would cost $233, instead of $220 from a recommended company. The bulk purchase saves Cornell $1,440.

“We have to buy them eventually,” said mayor Mark Larson.

Steve Turany, council president, agreed, and said, per DNR requirement, all outdated water meters in the city must be replaced by 2024. Currently, there are 350 properties in Cornell, that are still in need of updating. “We anticipate swapping out at least 144 water meters in the next 16 months,” said Turany.

During the regular meeting, members passed a resolution, deducting $1,800 from payment to the Chippewa County Highway Department, for paving that included a portion on North Second Street. The council agreed to hold off on payment for the county’s services, until crews come back and fix a “dip” in the paving that occurred.

Members also approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Chippewa County, to provide WisVote services for 2021, to the city, at a cost of $490.

“This is something we do every year,” said city administrator DeJongh.

As a notice to the public, the city’s Open Book session is set for April 3, from 2:30-4:30 p.m., while the Board of Review is scheduled for May 5, from 4-6 p.m. The public is welcome to attend, with any questions or concerns they may have about their property taxes/value.

“It is very informative, if you ask questions,” said council member Ashley Carothers.

As part of the public comments portion of the meeting, council member Bill Kvapil said he would like to see a dome drain possibly put in on the east side of Woodside Drive, as he has received a couple complaints of the drain freezing up off the street, with leaves building up over the basin. It was agreed that Kvapil will ask to have the item put on an agenda for a future City Works Committee meeting.

DeJongh reported that the Cornell Visitors Center received a year-end donation of $539.97 from local business Badger Geeks, and with that, it seemed a good time to make residents aware of funds that have been somewhat stagnant of late. Administered by the Community Foundation of Chippewa County, one is the Stacker Pass-Through Fund, which allows the city to maintain the historic structure, and the other is the Cornell Community Seedling Fund.

“Both of those are for people to donate to,” said DeJongh.

Now that the holidays are past, Carothers reported on the Spirit of Christmas distribution that took place at the council chambers.

“I think it went over really well,” said Carothers.

She said there were many volunteers helping to make the event successful, as well as businesses who set up giving trees at their locations. There were so many items to distribute to those in need, the event had to overflow to the adjoining senior center room.

“It was a very overwhelming response of a lot of people,” said Carothers.

Carothers also congratulated fire chief Denny Klass, for serving 50 years with the Cornell Area Fire Department, with the sentiment echoed by the other council members.