MERRILL - Merrill residents wanted cleaner city water and they got it. But it will come at a price.
The city's water was full of manganese. A mineral naturally found in well water.
But too much of it in your water can make things dirty says City Administrator David Johnson.
"People would find their toilet bowls stained black. If you opened your tank on your toilet bowl everything in the tank would be black. If you touch it, it would be like a greasy black gritty black residue. The fix for this was actually at the request of the people of Merrill not liking this black residue in their water."
The city improved its water treatment plant to remove the unwanted mineral last summer. But it cost 2.2 million dollars. To pay for it the city will ask for a water bill rate hike for residents. "It will be about a 10% increase in revenue for the water department, which will equate to about $0.08 per day for the average homeowner. So what we've done is something to make our customers happy. Unfortunately, anything you do that changes your system requires a cost increase and that's what we are doing now."
A hearing on the rate hike is scheduled in Merrill's City Hall next Tuesday at 10am.
WAUSAU - A contractor fell from a ladder and died at the construction site of the new Hilton Garden Inn in Wausau last week. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.
Marathon County Sheriff's Captain Dale Wisnewski said Shane J. Cash, 45, of Wisconsin Rapids was drilling holes in the ceiling on Thursday when he fell from his ladder and died on scene.
TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk High School sporting events got an attendance boost this winter. At the same time, local charities benefited from the community's generosity.
The school's Varsity Club sponsored six nights of special events, one for each winter sport. The Varsity Club gave out T-shirts printed with team rosters. Meanwhile, fans brought donations for local charities.
"Each kid would walk in and they'd put on their T-shirt," said Varsity Club member Jackie Elliott. "When we got our student section going, they were all together, and you just had this block of white. It was awesome."
RHINELANDER - People lived through detours, dust, and demolition throughout most of 2016 in downtown Rhinelander. Residents won't see that kind of work in 2017, but the city is planning more closures and road work to finish up the Streetscape Project.
Crews will start with the Davenport Street Bridge shutting down for a month in starting April 17. Public Works Director Tim Kingman says some sections of concrete, sidewalk, and asphalt pavement shifted, settled and cracked over the winter.
RHINELANDER - Cracked concrete, twisted rebar, and overgrown trees and bushes don't paint the most ideal picture for a park. But a Rhinelander alderman sees the perfect chance for a peaceful place to enjoy nature.
Alderman Alex Young hopes to turn an old snow dumping dock site into a "pocket park." The site sits where Norway Street runs into the Wisconsin River behind Ripco Credit Union and the DNR Service Center building.
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