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Council recognizes retired Judge Cicero

Judge June Cicero was elected River Falls Municipal Court judge in 1984. She was recognized for her service at a recent River Falls City Council meeting. File photo

The River Falls City Council recognized Municipal Judge June Cicero in its regular meeting Tuesday, May 8.

Cicero retired on April 3 after serving more than 30 years as municipal judge. Mayor Dan Toland said Cicero created a truancy program that benefited students and families, and worked closely with the Renaissance Academy.

"We wish you the best in your retirement, and we appreciate everything you've done for us," Toland said.

The council and audience stood and applauded Cicero.

"Thank you," Cicero said. "It's been my honor to be your judge for this long time. I love the job. I loved everything about it ... I've had a wonderful experience and I'm going to miss it, but it's time to go on, and I want to thank you for the trust you gave me through all these years to be your judge. Thank you very much."

Junior's

The council voted to renew Junior's Restaurant and Tap House's combination Class B beer and Class B liquor license. The council also agreed to allow Junior's to expand its licensed area to include a new patio, which would be fenced and surrounded by a garden.

Council member Scott Morrissette said it looked like the outdoor area would be a "great spot." He asked co-owner Dustin Hanson to consider paving an additional parking area belonging to Junior's, across the street, to give people more defined spots to use in that lot.

Hanson said he and the other owners will take that under consideration.

Sidewalk, curb, gutter and structure repair

The council awarded an $118,000 bid for the 2018 sidewalk, curb, gutter, and structure repair program to Harmon Concrete. Money was budgeted for the repair/replacement of sidewalk, curb, gutter, handicap ramps and stormwater structures throughout the city.

Harmon Concrete's bid was the lowest of the three contenders.

Hanson Drive and Division Street

The council approved a relocation order identifying land interests required for improving access to Highway 35/65 at Division Street, authorized the city administrator and city attorney to work with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and acquire real estate in the relocation order area via negotiation or condemnation, per Wisconsin state statute; and authorized the city administrator and city attorney to "execute the jurisdictional offer, lis pendens, and award of compensation if condemnation proceedings" laid out in Wisconsin statues, if necessary.

Improvements are planned to the junction of Highway 35 and County Road M (Division Street).

City Administrator Scot Simpson said he and the city attorney are working with the owners of the properties that would be affected.

Resolutions

The council also had first readings of three separate resolutions.

• The first resolution would amend the existing municipal code regarding fences. The amendments include requiring fences that abut streets to be set back at least 3 feet from the property line, and establishing a maximum body height for fences of 3 feet for a yard abutting a street within a residential zone, 6 feet for a yard abutting a street in a residential zone or a yard abutting a street not in a residential zone, and 10 feet for a yard not abutting a street in a non residential zone.

Residential fences in a rear or side yard abutting a street would be allowed to go up to 6 feet if the fence is set back at least 3 feet from the property line and "adequate landscaping" is installed on the street side of the fence.

Resident Michael Madson spoke during the public comment section of the meeting, and said he and his wife want to fence their yard in to protect their lawn, and to protect their daughter.

He said fences are expensive to build, and he wants the municipal code to allow him to build a 6-foot privacy fence. He said the landscaping would be an additional cost.

Morrissette said he hoped that Madson and city staff could come to a "low-cost compromise."

• Another proposed amendment looked at changing the speed on Huppert Street to 45 miles per hour from Chapman Drive to Arrow Court.

• A third first reading looked at an ordinance that would make Riverwalk alleyway one-way form Veterans Park to Walnut Street. The entire alleyway would then be one-way southbound.

These proposed ordinances will be considered at the council's May 22 meeting.

Recognition

The Mayor and council also recognized National Public Works Week, and Police Appreciation week.

The full meeting can be viewed online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2DizcXdXSk.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

(715) 426-1048
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