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A bigger or smaller PC County board on the horizon?

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government River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The Pierce County Board of Supervisors might look different in a few months, but the question is how much?

Board Chair Paul Barkla informed his fellow members Feb. 22 they will have to make a decision soon about the size of the board as the county looks over population figures from the 2010 census.

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"Redistricting is a fun, interesting process," Barkla said.

A committee to draft a new district plan has begun. The committee is made up of Barkla, fellow supervisors Jon Aubart and Ron Bartels, Corporation Counsel Brad Lawrence, County Clerk Jamie Feuerhelm and GIS Specialist Rand Kluegel. They held their first meeting last month, with the second meeting scheduled for March 7.

Feuerhelm said it's likely the committee will make its recommendation after that meeting whether to add, reduce or stay the same in terms of board members.

As of now, the only certainty, he said, is the supervisor boundary lines will change.

Monthly reports

Various departments submitted monthly reports. Among the highlights:

  • Mary Foley, the county's Data Processing/Software Support Specialist, will retire March 18.
  • Sheriff's dispatch received 29,126 service calls last year, an average of almost 80 a day.
  • The Material Recovery Facility (MRF) had a decrease of processed recyclable materials from January 2011 compared to January 2010. The decline is attributed to private waste haulers delivering fewer material tons. Solid waste officials also said they are exploring the options of the MRF becoming a site for recycling vinyl siding, used cooking oil and grease.
  • Greg Andrews, agriculture agent, reported the 2011 Pierce County Farmland Rent Survey, which covered 318 farmland parcels and all 17 towns, was completed. UW-Extension Office also announced the 2011-13 county fair book will be available May 1.

Approvals

The board approved the following items:

  • A zero percent salary increase for its non-union employees for 2011. Those employees will also be paying 10% toward the health insurance premiums. In a related matter, Supervisor Greg Place announced mediation sessions scheduled with the local AFCME unit for Feb. 16 were postponed due to the uncertainty in Madison.
  • Chad Johnson as the highway commissioner, effective through 2013. Upon receiving the vote, Johnson told the board he's looking forward to the challenges and opportunities the position entail the next two years.
  • A dog damage claim of $1,000 for Arvid Schwake in the town of Maiden Rock. Schwake claimed, on Nov. 13, a Husky-like dog killed six ewes and two laying hens.

The next county board meeting is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 22.

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River Falls Journal 715-425-5666 customer support
Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 
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