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Contact the Engineering Department at 425-0900 to report problems with the signal lights within the City. For additional information about traffic signals, click here.
The only way for a property owner to accurately determine where his or her property lies is to hire a Professional Surveyor. Surveying firms are listed in the Yellow Pages. The City does not have a Professional Surveyor on staff and is unable to locate property lines for residents.
One Minute City Rap: Cascade Avenue CrosswalksOne Minute City Rap: Cascade Avenue Crosswalk Safety
What’s the difference between a Drive and a Road or an Avenue and a Street? Ever wanted to change the name of the street you live on? Or wonder how names are chosen? Click here for these answers and more information about street naming.
The study reported that "...more pedestrian accidents occur in marked crosswalks than in unmarked crosswalks by a ratio of approximately 6:1. Furthermore, comparison of the volume of pedestrians using the marked and unmarked crosswalks shows that the crosswalk use ratio is approximately 3:1. This indicates, in terms of usage, that approximately two times as many pedestrian accidents occur in marked crosswalks as compared with unmarked crosswalks. Evidence suggests that this poor accident record is not due to the crosswalk being marked as much as it is a reflection on the pedestrians' attitude and behavior when using the marked crosswalk..."
River Falls Crosswalk Policy SummarySafety Effects of Marked vs. Unmarked Crosswalks at Uncontrolled IntersectionsWisconsin Pedestrian Traffic Safety Facts
For more information about the safety of roundabouts or information about how to navigate a roundabout, click here. For more information, The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has created videos on roundabout usage. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also has a short video as well as other general information.
Check out our fact sheet for more information.
There are a number of reasons why the City of River Falls has chosen to contract for residential garbage collection though one hauler including:
Yes, it is your responsibility to keep your address current. If you fail to provide the Court with the appropriate contact information, you may not receive proper notification in the future. This will result in a default judgment and further action may be entered against you. Please feel free to call or e-mail us with your new address.
To get a matter reopened, you must write a letter to the Judge explaining why you missed your Court date and request that it be reopened. The Judge may charge a reopening fee, ranging between $0 - $50, depending on how long after the Court date your letter is received and why you missed the court date. If the reopening request is more than three months past the entry of judgment, a hearing will be held before the Judge.
If this is the only suspension/revocation on your driving record, you must first pay your fine to the Court. Once paid, we will provide the State with the information. You must pay the Department of Information a reinstatement fee in order to have your privilege to drive in Wisconsin reinstated.
The points will remain on your record for one year from the date of the violation. The actual charge will remain on your record for three years - unless the charge is Operating While Intoxicated.
You may ask the Court to set up a payment plan for you. This is done on a case-by-case basis, depending on your individual circumstances and must be approved by the Judge. If you do not follow the payment plan to which you agreed, the Court will impose the alternative sanction (either drivers license suspension or jail) unless other satisfactory arrangements are made with the Court. When making a payment to the Court, make checks payable to: The City of River Falls.
The River Falls Police Department operates under Wisconsin's Open Records Law. Copies are $0.25 per page for 8 1/2 x 11 and $0.35 per page for 11 x 17. The review process usually takes 5-10 working days to complete. For further information click here.
Obtain an open records request form. Click here to email staff with any questions you may have.
Yes, fingerprinting is done Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. There is a $35.00 fee for this service. You must bring your fingerprint card with you, have it filled out in black ink, and have a valid picture ID. Please call the Police Department at (715) 425-0909 to check the availability of personnel to do fingerprinting. We cannot fingerprint for Wisconsin teaching licenses. Please go to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for fingerprinting information.
•Bowen's 715-425-2626 (during business hours) •Jensen Automotive 715-425-9702 (8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.) •Jerry's Inc. 715-425-2706 (24 hours a day) •Swede's Service 715-425-5377 (day); 715-425-6445 (day or evening)
** In case of emergency, i.e. child locked inside, officers will assist.
Parking tickets can be paid by mail or in person at the Police Department, at the Public Safety Building Entrance - 125 East Elm Street (this is a silver box on the wall).
Parking Tickets may also now be paid online. Pay your parking ticket online.
The Police Department will respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week to requests for police assistance. Normal business hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday. The Police Department entrance is open 24 hours a day with a direct phone line to the dispatcher.
If you are requesting road closures, barricades or assistance from the Police Department or Department of Public Works, please complete the City of River Falls Special Event application and submit. Please submit your request with enough time for City staff to review and coordinate. The document can be found here.
Call the Police Department at 715-425-0909 or notify us. We have two speed trailers that can be used to collect data in your area that we can then evaluate the speeds and consider assigning directed patrol for speed enforcement.
For additional information, click here, or check out the following links: Wisconsin Department of Natural ResourcesCenter for Disease Control (CDC)US Environmental Protection AgencyNational Pesticide Information Center Department of Health and Family Services WI West Nile Virus / Dead Bird Hotline: 1-800-433-1610
The main source of nutrients in Lake George is sediment, which has accumulated behind the dams since they were constructed over 100 years ago. This sediment resulted from poor upland soil conservation practices that were generally followed prior to 1960.
What kinds of options are there for removing the algae? Is it harmful?
Typically, the first steps taken target the control of the external sources of phosphorus and can include: encouraging the use of phosphorus free fertilizers; improving agricultural practices, reducing urban run-off; and restoring vegetation buffers around waterways.
Lakes are very slow to recover after excessive phosphorus inputs have been eliminated. Furthermore, it’s extremely difficult to achieve recovery of lake conditions without additional in-lake management. This is due to the fact that lake sediments become phosphorus rich and can deliver excessive amounts of phosphorus to the overlying water. When dissolved oxygen levels decrease in the bottom waters of the lake (anaerobic conditions), large amounts of phosphorus trapped in the bottom sediments are released into the overlying water. This process is often called internal nutrient loading or recycling.
Alum is used primarily to control this internal recycling of phosphorus from the sediments of the lake bottom that result in algae. On contact with water, alum forms a fluffy aluminum hydroxide precipitate called floc. Aluminum hydroxide (the principle ingredient in common antacids such as Maalox) binds with phosphorus to form an aluminum phosphate compound. This compound is insoluble in water under most conditions so the phosphorus in it can no longer be used as food by algae organisms. As the floc slowly settles, some phosphorus is removed from the water. The floc also tends to collect suspended particles in the water and carry them down to the bottom, leaving the lake noticeably clearer. On the bottom of the lake the floc forms a layer that acts as a phosphorus barrier by combining with phosphorus as it is released from the sediments.
For additional information, click here.
Coal-tar and asphalt based sealants are used across the nation to protect and beautify parking lots, roads and driveways. These sealants are used commercially and by homeowners on driveways, playgrounds, and parking lots.
Scientific studies have identified coal-tar sealcoat (CTS) as a major source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination in urban areas for large parts of the nation. PAHs are a concern because several are suspected or probable human carcinogens and are also toxic to aquatic life. The research is still ongoing with regard to PAHs and there are no acute or chronic exposure levels in the US at this time.
Other communities are noticing elevated levels of PAHs in their storm water pond sediment and are finding that is it very costly to properly dispose of this contaminated sediment. In River Falls, we have over 90 storm water management ponds that collect sediments prior to water discharging to the river.
Asphalt based sealants are similar to coal tar in their use and application. Asphalt sealants are also cheaper than CTSs; however, their effective life is shorter at 4-6 years as opposed to 8-10 years. The main advantage is that pure asphalt sealants are not carcinogenic.
Due to the significant cost of PAH-contaminated sediment disposal, the use of CTSs could have future financial impacts on the City. We are asking for your cooperation in using asphalt based sealcoat if you choose to sealcoat your driveway or parking lot. If you are hiring a professional, ask which type of sealant they use.
How to drain your pool or spa:• Prior to irrigating or disposing of the water, shut off the chlorination system (if you have one) or stop adding chlorine.• Let the water in the pool or spa “sit” for at least one week to reduce the chlorine or bromine level until it is undetectable and temperature is at air temperature. Discharging chlorinated pool/spa water into streams in harmful to fish and other aquatic life.• Measure the pH. It should fall within a range of 6.5-8.5 prior to discharge. Discharge water should not be cloudy or discolored as this typically indicates a pH imbalance.• As the water is discharging, it must be monitored to ensure that it does not cause any erosion or flooding. Erosion is most likely to occur at houses on a bluff that discharge to the rear yard down the steep slope.• Discharges may not run onto a neighbor’s property or across a sidewalk• If a pool or spa has been acid washed, the water may not be discharged off the pool/spa owner’s property.• Water from backflushing pool filters should not be discharged to a stream, ditch or storm sewer. Backflush from pool filters must be discharged to the sanitary sewer or on-site septic tank and drain field system.
Check out our information sheet to find out about different types of storm water management features that the City utilizes to improve the effects of storm water.
The City of River Falls is responsible for all trees and other vegetation located within the boulevard area between the curb line and property line. Only the City is allowed to plant and prune trees within this area unless permission is granted by the City Forester and a site assessment is made. If there is an issue with trees or vegetation in the boulevard area notification will be given to the homeowner in the form of a door hanger prior to work commencing.
The City can check the boulevard width on your property and if a tree is within the boulevard using our mapping system by calling the City Forester’s office at 715-425-1697.
Residents are encouraged to water their boulevard trees if there is an extended hot and/or dry spell. Staking of young trees is also allowed. If your boulevard tree has sucker shoots coming up from the base or trunk, you are allowed to cut these shoots off. Any other tree maintenance must be done by city crews.
The City tries to maintain a 4-5 year trimming cycle and plans to visit every boulevard tree at least once in a five year span, but due to excessively snowy or cold winters the pruning cycle may be altered. If there is an imminent tree issue involving the safety of the public (ex. large hanger, cracked tree, severe decay), please call 715-425-1697.
There are many factors that go into planting a tree in the boulevard. Tree spacing, overhead and above ground conflicts, and boulevard size are all some of these factors. Right tree, right place is the general motto of tree planting. If you would like to have a tree planted by the City or plant a tree in the boulevard yourself, please call the Forester’s office and have a consultation to make sure that the tree you want to plant is the tree that should be planted in a particular location. The City will typically plant trees in early to mid October and new tree requests are typically fulfilled at this time.
The City will follow up with watering a newly planted tree at least twice after it is planted in October. This is usually enough to get into the winter months. However, the spring and summer following planting residents are encouraged to water their new tree as needed based on conditions. The City will also put a ring of mulch around a newly planted tree. Keeping this mulch layer around the tree for the first two years after planting will help the tree to hold moisture and protect the roots of the tree as they establish.
Our goal at River Falls Urban Forestry is to make a healthy, diverse, and resilient urban forest. Many years ago entire streets were lined with beautiful American Elm trees. Dutch Elm Disease swept through the area and devastated our elm population. Now 30 years later, we have beautiful ash trees lining some of our streets once again. Emerald Ash Borer will sweep through our area and devastate our ash population. Since 2004, the City of River Falls has been striving to improve diversity in our entire tree population. We cannot limit the tree species we plant to one, two, or even five species. The new guideline for tree diversity has a target goal of no more than 10 percent of any genus of trees in a tree population. Our approved boulevard tree list has many trees both native and non-native in an effort to make our urban forest more resilient from the next large scale pest or disease. We encourage homeowners to also find new non-invasive species that they can plant on their private property to help strengthen our forest diversity.
EAB is very difficult to detect. Early detection is the key help minimize its effects on our urban forest. Currently there is no detectable EAB sign within the city, but that does not mean that EAB isn’t in the city limits. Infected trees won’t show much exterior stress until a couple years after infection. Currently the closest confirmed EAB sighting is in Hudson, Wisconsin. Adult EAB insects can only travel about ½ a mile on their own; however careless firewood movement of infected wood could bring EAB here at any time. That is why Wisconsin and Minnesota have firewood movement regulations and quarantines.
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has an EAB Hotline at:1-800-462-2803. E-mail is also an option at: DATCPEmeraldAshBorer@wisconsin.gov. The City Forester can also make a positive confirmation of EAB.
The City’s last all ash tree inventory was conducted in 2012 and identified 2,053 ash trees on public property. Since then the City has removed several of these trees but there are still close to 2,000 trees on public property. This number does not include ash trees on private property.
The City has been preparing for EAB for over 12 years. The City stopped planting ash trees in 2004, and has made a concentrated effort to remove any Ash tree that is in decline in anticipation of EAB. The next steps we are taking to mitigate the losses from EAB are systematic treatment of high-value trees and in the near future, preemptive removal and replacement of smaller ash trees that don’t provide the benefit(s) of larger, more mature ash trees. These steps coupled with homeowners who wish to have their boulevard tree(s) treated should help minimize those “peak” years when ash tree deaths are at their maximum. At that time the City would then be removing “flagged” trees which are showing signs of EAB through the use of our contracted tree service provider.
Ash trees can be treated for EAB using a couple different methods. Some of these methods a homeowner can administer, and some require a professional arborist. The University of Wisconsin Extension has an excellent homeowner publication about homeowner treatment which is linked to in the Urban Forestry page on the city website. If you want a professional treatment, please contact a certified arborist. Remember, treatment for EAB must be done annually or biennially depending on the treatment administered. Treating an ash tree only once will prolong its life by only a of couple years. The City is currently in the process of having a few high value public Ash trees treated for EAB such as the Ash trees in the Main Street boulevard. However, it is too cost prohibitive to have all the public Ash trees treated on a biennial basis. It is better to remove those trees and replace with a non-ash species that would not have to be treated.
The City does allow for homeowners to have the ash trees in their boulevard treated as long as the City receives documentation stating when the treatment was administered, what product was used, and by whom. This data will be stored in our City tree inventory and would have to be updated on a regular basis. This is to prevent accidental removal of treated trees when the City needs to remove infected ash trees.
If you would like to be involved with River Falls Urban Forestry just let us know at 715-425-1697.