Shortcuts | Sept. 15, 2011

condensed local news about civic and cultural goings-on

V1 Staff


Since the project’s inception a year ago, the highly controversial sand plant being erected in the Chippewa Falls is finally set to open this October. When plans for this new facility were announced mixed feelings from the community have sprung up. Some feel that the fact that EOG Resources, a Houston-based company, is bringing 50 new jobs initially to the area and then expanding that number to 120-150 once the sand plants in Howard and Cooks Valley are opened is something to be praised. Others fear that the local air quality would be needlessly sacrificed due to the outdoor storage of the sand. The bigger picture proves to be that the characteristics of the sand being mined from the area, which is ideal for processing petroleum and natural gas, makes us less dependent on imported oil.


Public Works Director Brian Amundson has released an update on the downtown riverfront district redesign, so get out your calendars and make some notes. The week of Sept 12 they released the preferred alternative (the design they like best so far) on the Ayres Associates website. On Sept. 20, they’ll present it to the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisroy Commission. On the 28th it’ll go before the Waterways & Parks Commission. Then to city council for a hearing on Oct. 10 and decision on Oct. 11. That’s your chance for comments before the council decides to move forward, or send them back to the drawing board. In late October they could have cost estimates, and from then to March they’d prepare construction specs. From May of 2012 to October of 2013 the construction would take place.


A new Alternative High School is opening in Menomonie this year. This new facility is being built on the northwest side of the existing Menomonie High School and is replacing the former Lucas Charter School. Once used as the community learning space, this new facility is thought to bring about a sense of community for the alternative students and give them access to the high school’s guidance counselors as well as their library. The Alternative School has a class scheduling system that has seven periods instead of the four-block schedule that the Menomonie High School instated in 1996. This increase in periods is supposed to allow for more flexible scheduling as well as tailor to the student’s specific learning style and needs.


The Chippewa Valley Free Clinic, located at 421 Graham Ave., Eau Claire, is in need of a new home. The clinic has been occupying this location as a donation from Valleybrook Church, but with the desire to expand from both parties a different location has to be acquired. The clinic is in need of more patient rooms as well as a conference and education room to accommodate their growing number of patients. Over the past five years, patient visits have increased by 27 percent, and 18 percent of that increase has been since last July. Since then, medication expenses have increased by 76 percent. Some other programs that are being considered by the clinic in their new expansion are talk therapies, prevention and wellness series, eye care, dental services, and social work.

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