Ashley donates to flood control efforts

ARCADIA — Ashley Furniture donated $300,000, 6 acres of land and employee time to reduce the risk of future flooding of Myers Valley Creek in Arcadia.

City and company officials recognized the contributions last week at a gathering in the furniture manufacturer’s offices.

“The city of Arcadia appreciates Ashley’s collective contributions to this project. Ashley is pivotal to our economy and it is our privilege to work with them,” Mayor Rob Reichwein said in a news release.

The monetary contribution was the latest effort by Ashley to help in the flood reduction project. The company already had donated land it had used for truck parking to the project that created a new creek channel. Ashley’s engineering, legal and public relations staff also have aided in the project.

Arcadia also is getting $500,000 from Community Development Block Grants to help pay for the $1.5 million flood control project.

City officials say the effort already has protected residents and businesses from flash floods on Aug. 12 and Sept. 21 that hit Arcadia.

“The Myers Valley Flood Control Project helps protect residents and businesses from major flash flood events, allowing them to focus on more important things,” Reichwein stated in the news release.

A September 2010 flood of the Myers Valley Creek watershed caused $10 million in damages to Arcadia.

Stores named for former Kmart site

Slumberland Furniture will serve as the anchor store in a retail redevelopment project at the defunct Kmart store on Oak Avenue in Menomonie.

Joining the Little Canada, Minn.-based furniture store will be Caribou-Einstein coffee and bagel shop, Dollar Tree, women’s clothing retailer Maurices and a Verizon store.

In addition to transforming the vacant big-box store, the multiphase redevelopment project will also add a new strip mall on the property.

Brisky Commercial, a Minneapolis-based real estate firm, is assisting Slumberland with development and brokerage services. In a news release announcing the future tenants, Brisky mentioned there are still spaces available for additional businesses that want to locate at the project that’s close to an Interstate 94 exit.

The Menomoine Kmart closed in May 2014 along with the Chippewa Falls store. Gordy’s Market, which has one of its grocery stores in the adjoining strip mall, bought the former Chippewa Falls Kmart with the goal of attracting more retail tenants.

Eau Claire’s Kmart on East Clairemont Avenue closed in February 2015 and does not yet have new tenants.

Wisconsin BBB gives plow advice

MILWAUKEE — The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau offers advice for businesses and homeowners when hiring a snow removal service:

• Get detailed written estimates from multiple companies and compare not only prices, but also their services and backup plan if their equipment fails during a heavy snowfall.

• When you do pick your service, get a detailed contract in writing. Make sure this document includes the company’s address, two phone numbers to reach them, dates for the start and end of service, and the minimum amount of snow needed for them to plow.

• Get customer references and call them to ask about their experiences with the company.

• Make sure the company is insured for property damage. Request a statement from their insurer confirming their liability and worker’s compensation coverage.

• Don’t assume the company will return in spring to repair damage done to your lawn or other property, get it in writing.

• Ask the contractor about payment options. Some charge in advance for the entire season, while others allow monthly installments or charge for each time their services are needed.

• Choose a reputable company. Check for consumer reviews and information about snow removal companies in the area.

• It’s wise for you to put stakes or other markers around your driveway to minimize damage a plow may do to your yard or landscaping.

HR speakers sought for April conference

The Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking speakers who are interested in making a one-hour presentation on a human resources-related topic at a one-day conference in spring.

The annual conference sponsored by the chamber and Chippewa Valley Society of Human Resources Management will be 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4, at The Florian Gardens, 2340 Lorch Ave.

Those interested in presenting need to complete a form found online at​gpluhdd and return it to Becky Seelen by Monday, Jan. 9. Seelen can be reached by email at or by calling the chamber at 715-858-0615.

Short Takes

• NEENAH — Miron Construction, which has a regional office in Eau Claire, recently started construction on a community center for the Ho-Chuck Nation in Black River Falls.

Work on the 57,000-sqaure-foot project began in October and it is scheduled to open in November 2017.

The community center will include a large main gymnasium, a multi-purpose gym, running track, fitness studios, classrooms, a cafe and lounge.

Architecture and engineering firm I+S Group from Mankato, Minn., also is working on the project.

• Eau Claire-based Huebsch Services got recognition for cleaning uniforms to high standards for companies that manufacture and process food.

Commercial textile trade organization TRSA awarded Huebsch with its Hygienically Clean Food Safety certification after inspecting and testing that the company meets key disinfection criteria set by federal agencies.

• Junior Achievement of Wisconsin’s Northwest District named two new members to its board of directors.

Lyle Jankee, vice president of pricing and network development at Marten Transport in Mondovi, and John Walton, founder of Advanced Laser Machining in Chippewa Falls, are the board’s newest members.

• Law firm Weld Riley donated 25,000 meals for area children last week in honor of the Eau Claire-based legal practice’s 25th anniversary.

Weld Riley donated the meals in partnership with the Chippewa Valley After Hours Rotary Club, Menomonie Rotary Clubs and Kids Against Hunger. The meals were donated to Feed My People Food Bank in Eau Claire.

• The RCU Foundation recently donated $50,000 raised through the Eau Claire credit union’s annual Charity Classic race to help create a new exhibit at Beaver Creek Reserve.

• Daylong training classes for learning software commonly used at businesses will be in mid-January at Metropolis Resort, 5150 Fairview Drive.

Classes in QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will be Jan. 17 to 20 at the Eau Claire hotel.

Each class costs $259, which includes use of a laptop computer. For more information or to register, go to

• An annual refresher course for nonmetallic mine employees will be from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 1, at Horizons Lounge and Banquet Center, 10769 Highway Q, just off exit 102 of U.S. 53 in Chippewa County.

This course satisfies the annual MSHA requirement for training mine employees on safety and health hazards. This course costs $125 per person; lunch is included.

Contact Mark Johnson by phone at 715-944-9120 or email to register.

From staff reports