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Supervisors make quick work of agenda items

With a light agenda, the St. Croix County Board of Supervisors made quick work of its regular meeting Tuesday morning.

Only two resolutions were on the table. First the board passed a measure giving the OK to an application for a 2013 County Conservation Aids Grant by a 16-0 margin. Tim Hood, David Peterson and Ron Kiesler were absent.

The St. Croix County Sportsman's Alliance is seeking the grant for a small parking lot in the town of Kinnickinnic near the Kinnickinnic River for greater public access for fishing.

The grant would pay half the project cost of $1,988 with the county pitching in the other half. "Any overruns will be picked up by the Sportsmen's Alliance," said Supervisor Agnes Ring.

The second resolution was more innocuous but generated more discussion.

The resolution would give St. Croix County's support to different proposals for alternative transit options through the county.

"We as a board were not on record as supporting more options for transportation," said Supervisor Buck Malick.

Malick said there was nothing in the works but, "it would get us on the record. It (resolution) is intended to be very general, not pertinent to anything before us or will be before us for the next couple of years."

"It doesn't make sense until light rail can prove cost effective," said Supervisor Dave Ostness.

"I would vote no," said Supervisor Chris Kilber, "It's too broad a concept."

"I can't see any benefit in this," said Supervisor Tom Hawksford. "Why do we have to tell people we are open to it?"

Malick replied a no vote would indicate you're not open to it.

The measure passed on a 12-4 vote with Kilber, Hawksford, Richard Ottino and Joe Hurtgen voting no.

Administrator Pat Thompson reported his office and department heads are in the throes of budget meetings. "We hope to have a preliminary budget for the board's review at the Oct. 2 meeting," Thompson said.

The administrator said overall the departments did a very good job in bringing budgets in line with the goals set.

Thompson said a report from the firm that did the 2011 financial audit for the county was good. The auditors' report pointed out the strong financial condition of the county and low debt ratio.

"There were a couple of items in the audit report that will require work by the finance department and myself," he said.