Eau Claire partners with UniverCity Alliance

Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 3:28 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Eau Claire county has been chosen as one of nine communities in Wisconsin to work with UniverCity Alliance.

UniverCity Alliance is an initiative centered around UW-Madison. It connects local governments in the badger state with campus resources to help solve community challenges.

Eau Claire county finance director, Norb Kirk, said with this partnership, Eau Claire will be tackling three major projects over the next few years.

“The first is an energy audit study of the county facilities. The goals there is to reduce energy consumption, improve efficiency, and develop a strategic plan to obtain obtain carbon neutrality. The second project is a business case study of our vehicle fleet. The county has about 80 vehicles that are average age of nine years. So the goal there is to determine the most cost effective and optimal fleet composition, reduce our maintenance cost, and lastly, develop what is the optimal replacement strategy. The last project centers on water quality and that has three sub projects. The first project is investigating the sources of blue green algae in the county lakes. The second is a cost benefit analysis of managing sand and sedimentation. The last is a riverbank erosion study using drones,” Kirk said.

Kirk said these projects will be a win win for all those involved.

“This alliance allows the county to leverage the UW system, expertise, the experience and resources to complete projects that the county wouldn’t otherwise be able to accomplish,” Kirk said.

He said they are still in the initial stages, but in the fall they will have a better idea of which UW campuses, students, and faculty will be contributing to these projects.