ARMY ASKED TO SPEED UP PROMISED WATER SYSTEM PLAN FOR MERRIMAC – Critics say the U.S. Army has been slow to bring a public water distribution system to Merrimac residents. U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has asked the Army to make the project a priority. Baldwin’s letter to Assistant Chief of Staff of the Department of the Army Installation Management Lt. General David Halverson asks that “the construction of the proposed water facility proceed in a timely manner.” The Army agreed to pay for a $40 million public water distribution system recommended by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in 2010. Doing so would mitigate fears about drinking water stemming from groundwater contamination from the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant. The town of Merrimac established a sanitary district governing body last May, a legal requirement before a water system could be built. http://host.madison.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/army-asked-to-speed-up-promised-water-system-plan-for/article_6b42c051-39a4-57bc-a93b-15667e6f074b.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share
PROPOSED JEFFERSON COUNTY GOAT MILKING OPERATION WOULD BE AMONG LARGEST IN WORLD – The owners of a new dairy hope to buy land in Jefferson County soon so they can build the largest goat-milking operation in the United States and one of the largest in the world. The plan for the 9,000-goat operation, which would include 7,000 milking does and 2,000 kids, aims to address a big shortage of goat milk in Wisconsin that is limiting production of the state’s burgeoning goat-cheese industry, said Kenn Buelow, one of the co-owners of Drumlin Dairy. The operation will house 9,000 goats because the managers want to maximize the potential of its milking parlor, which can milk 7,000 goats three times a day, Buelow said. He added that he was looking at “a couple of possibilities” to buy a roughly 250-acre site in Jefferson County and hopes to have a farm operational by March 2017. http://lacrossetribune.com/news/state-and-regional/proposed-jefferson-county-goat-milking-operation-would-be-among-largest/article_fdfb00f8-db22-5dd0-b4fc-c9905de06ff3.html
ANOTHER FRAC SAND MINE IS SHUTTING DOWN IN WISCONSIN – A frac sand mining operation in Tunnel City is shutting down and will be laying off 65 workers after a yearlong lull in the U.S. oil and gas drilling industry. The plant is owned by Connecticut-based minerals producer UNIMIN, which has mines in Wisconsin and across the country. Company CEO Drew Bradley said the frac sand market has suffered after a significant slowdown in the US oil and gas industries that began in January of 2015. UNIMIN’s Tunnel City operation was built to supply frac sand to drillers in what’s called the Bakken Shale play of North Dakota and southern Montana, which saw an incredible growth in the number of oil and gas wells between 2012 and 2015. But with oil prices just more than half of what they were in two years ago, new well completions have stalled. http://www.wpr.org/another-frac-sand-mine-shutting-down-wisconsin
BRF UTILITY LOOKS TO IMPROVE METER SYSTEM – Black River Falls Municipal Utilities plans to move ahead with improved metering technology within the next three years. BRFMU is gearing up to change to a new system – dubbed advanced metering infrastructure – that allows for two-way communication between the meter and utility. The new technology would have benefits for customers, utility workload and efficiency. “With the AMI, there’s a lot more options that are available to the utility and the customer,” said Casey Engebretson, BRMU assistant general manager who handles oversight of water operations. “There’s definitely added benefits to it.” The utility went to its current system – automatic meter reading – about 10 years ago for water and electric customers, but it stopped complete implementation of the technology at about half its customers when it discovered technology was evolving and moving more toward AMI. http://lacrossetribune.com/jacksoncochronicle/news/local/brf-utility-looks-to-improve-meter-system/article_12ea379e-e4db-5dcc-aa53-45db9d03b2fb.html
MUNICIPAL FLOOD CONTROL GRANT EXTENDED APPLICATION DEADLINE – The DNR is extending the deadline for submission of Municipal Flood Control (MFC) grant applications. We’re taking this action to make grant funds available to more interested parties. If you have an application already submitted, updates will also be accepted until the new deadline. The new deadline will soon be on the web page. If you think you have an eligible project, application materials are available at this link http://dnr.wi.gov/Aid/MunFloodControl.html
To be considered for funding, application must be postmarked or e-mail no later than Monday, May 23, 2016, and sent to: Jeff Soellner (CF/2), MFC Grant Manager, Wisconsin DNR, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921, E-mail: Jeffrey.Soellner@wisconsin.gov.
SUSTAINABLE UTILITY MANAGEMENT WEBINAR – This webinar for Rural and Small Systems is scheduled for 2 p.m. central on April 7. Sustainable Utility Management for Rural and Small Systems aim is to support rural and small water and wastewater systems in their common mission to become more successful and resilient service providers. The program is built around ten key management areas of sustainably managed utilities that can help rural and small water and wastewater system managers address many ongoing challenges and move toward sustainable management of both operations and infrastructure. In aiming to increase their long-term sustainability and effectiveness, the eventual goal for systems is high achievement, consistent with the needs and expectations of their communities http://nrwa.org/2016/03/sustainable-utility-management-for-rural-and-small-systems-2-p-m-cst-april-7/
WRWA ANNUAL CONFERENCE A SUCCESS – The 28th Annual WRWA Technical conference is in the books with just under 1,300 people in attendance. Over 40 hours of educational sessions, 210 exhibitors and over 100 door and raffle prizes were won by attendees over the week. Our Thanks to everyone who helped make this event a success. Planning has already started for 2017 in La Crosse. Room blocks open on June 6th, check for information on our website at www.wrwa.org.
QUOTE – “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” – Henry Ford
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