Cold winter drives up Utility Department budget - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Cold winter drives up Utility Department budget


Eau Claire (WQOW) - The deep frost will have the city of Eau Claire digging deeper to cover the cost of winter.

Over the past few months, city crews responded to 485 reports of frozen pipes.  There was one freeze-up in the previous four winters combined. 

The city also repaired 12 water main breaks this winter. 

Because they were so busy, the utilities department went $157,000 over budget. 

On Tuesday, the city council approved transferring money from a reserve fund to cover the costs.

"We budget for some, we know what our averages are for example we average about 10 water main breaks a year," said Utilities Administrator Jeff Pippenger.  "We do have some service problems, but not to the extent we had this year."

The utilities department wants to remind Eau Claire users who've been asked to run a constant stream of water to keep doing so until the city tells them otherwise.

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