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Eau Claire City Council approves phase two of water treatment plant upgrades, passes initial debt financing for 2019

Eau Claire (WQOW) – The Eau Claire City Council approved a bid to keep Eau Claire water clean.

The council awarded the $9 million contract for the second phase of upgrades to the city’s water treatment plant to C.D. Smith Construction.

The first phase replaced under drain systems and piping. According to Community Services Director Jeff Pippenger, this money will go toward upgrading utilities around the plant that will more efficiently clean Eau Claire’s water.

“Right now we backwash about 90 million gallons a year. That is going to reduce that by 50 percent, so that’s a huge savings for the city of Eau Claire,” Pippenger said. “And it’s conservation, we don’t have to pump as much out of the ground and we don’t have to do the treatment.”

The city council also approved bids for city-wide street and utility construction that will replace water mains, storm sewers and other street maintenance needed within the city.

The council also discussed debt financing for 2019 to pay for transit and street improvements.

City officials are requesting more than $26 million in bonds for improvements across Eau Claire. More than $6 million would go toward road improvements.

Other projects on the docket include updates to the public library, Hobbs Ice Arena, more upgrades to city water systems and re-financing previous city debt.

“Keeping up with street maintenance is extremely important because if we let our streets deteriorate, then it just kind of snowballs and it’s very difficult for communities to catch up,” said Director of Finance, Jay Winzenz.

Winzenz said it’s better to refinance old debt and apply for new contract loans now, while interest rates are still favorable.

Justin Esterly

Justin Esterly is our Daybreak meteorologist. Justin joined WQOW News 18 in May 2018.

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