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HUDSON: After 2½ years of staff work, public hearings and revisions, the St. Croix County Board approved amended land use ordinances last week. The amendments and new chapter adopted by the County Board at its Dec.
Two prominent members of the St. Croix County Board have filed declarations of non-candidacy, indicating they won't seek re-election in April. The two are Ralph Swenson, North Hudson, who is completing his third term on the board and currently chairs its Finance Committee; and Art Jacobson, Woodville, who is completing his 18th year on the board. Swenson represents Wards 2 through 5 of the village of North Hudson. Jacobson represents the town of Baldwin and the village of Woodville.
St. Croix County has received $200,000 less in sales tax than it got at this point last year, but county officials aren't sure if they should be worried yet. "We're continuing to monitor this, but right now it doesn't look good," said Finance Committee Chairman Ralph Swenson as he led fellow County Board members through a budget discussion last week. Projections prepared by UW Extension sources have been fairly accurate in the past, but county officials are wondering if they're working now, Swenson said. St. Croix isn't alone.
The Town of Troy's 104-year-old former town hall has a fresh look, thanks to an Eagle Scout and his helpers. Carl Magnusson and his friends spent a weekend in September scraping, priming and painting the structure, now used for office space and storage for the town's recycling center. Magnusson, the son of Dale and Diane Magnusson, chose the task as his Eagle Scout leadership service project. The 20 by 40 foot building, at the intersection of Townsvalley Road and Chinnock Lane, was built in 1901. It served as the town hall until 1962.
ELLSWORTH: Pierce County's fledgling preventive dental clinic ran into another obstacle this summer when the Wisconsin Department of Justice issued an opinion that cut off the clinic's liability coverage. The county Public Health Department will pay $950 to buy insurance for a part-time dentist through the Wisconsin Dental Association. The Finance and Personnel Committee voted this month to allow the department to buy insurance with the understanding that if the clinic can't cover its costs by the end of the year, the issue will go to the full County Board.
University Extension specialists from Wisconsin and Minnesota are planning workshops to help area farmers look at the potential for storing more grain and weigh the costs against expected earnings, said Pierce County Agriculture Agent Greg Andrews Friday. The information will be presented during a series of on-farm programs scheduled for the last week of September in about 10 counties along the Mississippi. The Pierce and St. Croix workshops are set for Tuesday, Sept. 27.
In an interview on her publisher's Web site, Mary Relindes Ellis tells of growing up in a "totally different region that was nearly its own country." The region is northern Wisconsin. And at age 45, Ellis, who now lives in Hammond, is still realizing the depth and value of her roots. Her debut novel, published by Viking last year, has been chosen to receive this year's Wisconsin Library Association's Banta Award.
HUDSON: Although new construction will allow the county to increase its tax levy well above a state-mandated base, 2006 budget work will be tough, St. Croix County Finance Committee Chairman Ralph Swenson advised the County Board Tuesday. Numbers released by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue Monday show new construction added 6.36% to the county's property tax base. Limits in the state budget allow counties to increase their budgets by 2% or by their percentage of new construction, whichever is greater. St.
Eight months after he filed the complaint, a Beldenville man has dropped a civil lawsuit that alleged River Falls police officers and ambulance workers mistreated him while he had an epileptic seizure. Michael Linehan, Beldenville, has agreed to dismiss the suit and drop any claims he might have had against the city of River Falls, the River Falls Police Department and the River Falls ambulance service. River Falls Police Chief Roger Leque said no settlement was paid to Linehan, who agreed to dismiss the case voluntarily. Linehan filed the suit without the assistance of a
RIVER FALLS: While State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf has some good things to say about the 2005-2007 state budget, by the end of last week she promised to draft a constitutional amendment to limit the governor's line-item veto power. "Wisconsin citizens would be shocked if they saw how major funding decisions are being made in the budget signed...by Gov. Jim Doyle," said Harsdorf, R-River Falls.