- Member for
- 1 year 10 months
ELLSWORTH: There were amendments to amendments as the Pierce County Board - in the final meeting before a new board is seated - restructured county committees. Following lengthy discussion and numerous votes at last week's board meeting, these were the end results: The Finance and Personnel committees were combined to one seven-member committee. The board chairman and vice chairman will automatically serve on this group. The other five members will be elected from the board. Citizen members of standing committees will be paid per diems.
St. Croix County's largest property taxpayers are "big-box" retailers while Pierce County's are out-of-county landlords and developers, according to information released recently by county treasurers. The Fleet Farm, Home Depot, Target, Menards, Wal-Mart and EconoFoods stores in Hudson take six of the top 10 taxpayer slots in St. Croix County, according to Treasurer Cheryl Slind.
ELLSWORTH: After draining a $360,000 budget for boarding Pierce County prisoners in other jails, the County Board transferred another $21,000 to cover 2003 boarding costs. Last week the county supervisors voted to cover the $20,670 deficit by taking money from the General Fund. In 2002 Pierce spent over $400,000 to keep its prisoners in other counties' jails. Since then county administrators have negotiated a lower per-day price with other counties. Pierce County contracts with Pepin and Dunn counties to board prisoners.
ELLSWORTH: The Pierce County Fair Committee is looking for a consultant to develop a master plan for the county fairgrounds in Ellsworth. The intent is to develop a plan for expanding the use of the fairgrounds during non-fair time and tie that into to potential facility improvements, said Administrative Coordinator Mark Schroeder. He said there have also been inquires from groups that want new or expanded fairground buildings and the committee would like a plan to accommodate those requests. The fairgrounds need "significant redevelopment," said Fair Coordinator Diane Bau
HUDSON: Once the books are closed, St. Croix County's Health and Human Services Department will apparently show a 2003 loss of well over $300,000 - a deficit the county will have to cover. HHS Director John Borup broke the news to Finance Committee members last Thursday, using a chart he had put together at home the night before. Actually the department's deficit is $650,353. But Borup asked for reimbursement for $104,000 of employee expenses that the county had agreed to pay, to apply $93,000 in other funds to the deficit, and to attribute $125,000 in pending collections.
Pierce County Human Services supervisors have made questionable decisions about leaving at-risk children in their homes and those decisions could have disastrous consequences, say law enforcement officials and a child protection worker who resigned in frustration. "It's going to take a child fatality to wake the public up," said former county Social Worker Amy Johnson in an interview last week.
The Human Services Department has a different focus than it had years ago and other professionals who work with children might not see the whole picture, said Reggie Bicha. "We don't do things that we did three years ago or five years ago," said Bicha, director of Pierce County's Human Services Department for less than three years. He said that as the federal government completes assessments of state children and family services programs, Wisconsin has been making changes.
At about 4:30 a.m. one weekday a few years ago, I was wakened by laughter and the sound of male voices. "You go," mumbled my husband, half asleep in the bed beside me. I slipped on a robe and stumbled down the stairs to our family room. As I turned the corner, the two young men on the couch, each with a video game control in his hand, turned to grin at me. One has dark hair that he keeps cut short. The other had blond hair combed and gelled to stand straight up.