With the recent auction of county land in New Richmond, there have been references in local papers to razing the St. Croix County Health and Human Services buildings in New Richmond and moving this department to Hudson.
Has anyone asked for input from the people who use this department? I'm guessing that they would want to keep things right where they're at.
Why? Saving money.
Perhaps the county supervisors believe that this move makes financial sense. What looks good on paper may not be good for the people of this county.
The people who use services within the DHHS are the individuals with the greatest financial needs. Hudson is at the "rich" far western edge of St. Croix County.
The further you travel away from it (north and east), the more poverty you encounter. It would cost around $15 roundtrip from Glenwood City to go to Economic Assistance for food stamps or "low cost" immunization from Public Health.
Only 25% of the persons using Behavioral Health Services live within 10 miles of Hudson -- 50% are within 10 miles of New Richmond. The other 25% live within 10 miles of Baldwin.
People tend to live where their medical services are located when money is limited. They can't afford the rents in Hudson nor would find Hudson welcoming an influx of low-income, disabled persons.
It makes sense for a few county employees to drive to meetings in Hudson rather than thousands of people driving there for all economic support, mental health services and public health needs. The county board needs to do more homework, openly publicize their efforts before committing to this move.
This is important to New Richmond and all low-income, struggling persons in St. Croix County.