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News Briefs

Biomass boiler to be installed in coal plant that heats UW-Madison

Madison (AP) — Gov. Jim Doyle says he wants to install a new biomass boiler at a coal-burning power plant in downtown Madison by 2012.
The state agreed last year to reduce coal use at the plant under a settlement to stop a federal lawsuit over pollution at the plant. The Charter Street Power Plant helps heat and cool the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The new boiler will be capable of burning biomass such as wood chips and switch grass pellets.
According to information attributed to Doyle in a news release, the switch to biomass will result in 108,800 fewer tons of coal being burned.
The release said the project will be included in his budget proposal to the Legislature and the project may be eligible for money under the federal stimulus package.

Wausau considers creating water pipeline for central cities

Wausau (AP) — The city of Wausau is exploring whether to sell its water to communities up to 35 miles away through a new multimillion-dollar pipeline.
City public works director Joe Gehin said communities interested in the pipeline include Abbotsford, Colby, Marshfield, Spencer, Marathon and Edgar. None has made commitments yet.
Officials said the pipeline would cost between $20 million and $30 million and the money would come from the benefiting communities, grants or federal stimulus money.
Gehin said Wausau must first study whether it has the pumping capacity to provide the water. The city would benefit by getting more customers, which could reduce the need for future rate increases.

UW System suspends payments from 30 endowments

Madison (AP) — The University of Wisconsin System is suspending payments from 30 endowments whose values have dropped in the recession.
System President Kevin Reilly said Friday the move will mean $700,000 in reduced payments for scholarships, projects and other initiatives.
He said the value of all 30 endowments has dipped below original values and suspending payments protects the money for the long-term.
Reilly said campuses will reallocate money from other sources to make up for some of the lost revenue, while activities will be cut in other cases.

Study reveals Milwaukee’s condo owners don’t fit stereotype

A new study at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee dispels myths about the condo boom in downtown Milwaukee, parts of the east side, and the Third and Fifth wards.
Results indicate these condo owners are not mostly retirees and young singles. Owners, on average, are middle-aged professionals, some of whom have kids.
Only a small fraction of owners primarily reside outside the Milwaukee area. Most owners use their condos as their primary residence, and the vast majority of resident owners previously resided in Milwaukee or its suburbs.
The study was based on responses from 804 condo owners.
The average respondents have owned their condos for 3.3 years. The median age of respondents was 44.

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