City Council Looks To Brighten Up the City

Black River Falls Common Council members took on a number of topics at their Tuesday meeting ranging from appointments to the city budget.

As the city works on bringing in business and getting a historical designation for the downtown area, Mayor Jay Eddy set up two entities that will focus on those subjects.

The Business Improvement District Board will handle the business portions and the members appointed are Laura Colloton Chrest, Deanna Lisota, Lyall White, Bill Moe and Andrea Hoffman.

Tackling the historical designation will be the Historical Preservation Commission that consists of Eric Erickson, Mary Woods, Barb Simonis, Joe Gaier, Darren Durnham, Jim Hoffman and Dana Olson.

The council also discussed a resolution to adjust how room tax dollars are distributed, the main change being an increase to 49 percent of the money going to the tourist entity in the city.

There were also minor adjustments in the amount going to the Jackson County Fair Park maintenance fund, with 37.5 percent going to the Milt Lunda Arena and the Jackson County Fair Park Association, while 25 percent will go to the Lunda Community Park maintenance fund.

The council also approved establishing a $1 million line of credit with the Black River County Bank.

Working with the municipal utilities, the city is establishing the credit for needed dam repairs.

The city and municipal utilities are also working together on a project to update the street lighting in the city to LED bulbs.

A few refunds to the city from the utilities for overcharges are expected to cover the cost of the update.

City Administrator Brad Chown said the update was needed and the prices have started going down making it the right time for the update.

Switching to LED lights should save the city a substantial amount of money and the longevity of the bulbs will also mean less maintenance costs.

They have done research into light wash studies to make sure the new lights aren’t affecting apartment complexes downtown too much.

Chown said the lights would be around the same wattage as the current ones, so it shouldn’t be a significant difference.

At the meeting Police Chief Kelly Bakken requested to rescind the police departments general order manual.

She mentioned that it duplicates policies and contradicts others. Moving forward, the plan would be to have one policy manual and work on assessing that one and updating it as needed.

The next meeting will be a special meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 18.