CHIPPEWA FALLS — A Chippewa Falls committee recommended approval of a plan Tuesday to provide EMS and ambulance services for a portion of the town of Wheaton, paving the way for the town to leave the Chippewa Fire District.
Last week, the Wheaton town board voted 4-1 to leave the Fire District, contingent on its ability to obtain contracts for EMS/ambulance services from Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire.
The city’s Committee on Transportation, Construction, Public Safety and Traffic voted unanimously Tuesday to provide the service for 2021 only at a per capita cost of $27.50. The measure now heads to the city’s Finance Committee for review and possible recommendation before it goes before the City Council for final approval.
Mayor Greg Hoffman was cautious about the plan. He said he is in favor of helping neighbors but wants to make sure the funding provided by the towns covers the city’s expenses.
“As we work more with these townships, it behooves the council to look at the costs,” Hoffman said. “I’m concerned about the residents of Chippewa Falls having to cover some of these costs.”
The portion of Wheaton that would be covered by Chippewa Falls has about 800 residents. In general, it is the area of the West Hill just outside city limits, and extending along Highway N, west to Highway F, and south to Highway 29.
“The rest of the township would have good response time from the city of Eau Claire since Station 9 is just over one mile south of our south border,” reads a letter from the Wheaton town board.
Chippewa Falls already has existing agreements to provide EMS services with the towns of Tilden, Eagle Point and Anson. Those agreements all expire at the end of 2021 as well.
While the Wheaton town board voted last week to withdraw from the Chippewa Fire District, that won’t go into effect until the end of 2020.
In other news, the city heard a request to place two “tiny homes” — mobile homeless shelters — at Notre Dame Parish, 117 Allen St.
The request went through the city’s Plan Commission. The City Council will set a public hearing on the matter once a $300 fee administrative and advertising fee is paid.
Hoffman told the council that one neighbor had expressed concern about the idea, but the person attended the Plan Commission meeting and left satisfied that his concerns were addressed.
If approved, this would be the fifth location of tiny homes in the area: four in city limits, one in Lake Hallie. All are placed at area churches who are working on plans to address homelessness in the Chippewa Falls community.