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Briefs: Baldwin ag center lease, zoning issues, National Night Out and more

ST. CROIX COUNTY: County to negotiate new lease with FSA

The St. Croix County Administration Committee voted last week to direct County Administrator Pat Thompson to begin lease negotiations with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) so that the agency can continue to occupy space in the county’s Agriculture Service and Education Center in Baldwin. 

The county and the FSA agreed last fall to a lease that will expire at the end of this year, and the Administration Committee Chairman Travis Schachtner of Somerset hopes the county can come to another agreement that could extend a decade.

“It is a 10-year binding contract, if accepted,” Schachtner said.

Before voting, the committee members discussed how such a long lease agreement would affect long-term planning.

“If we were to sell that building at a later date while still under that contract, it could be brought back against us, and we could be fined by the federal government,” Schachtner said.

After discussion, all five committee members voted in favor of offering the 10-year lease.

“Moving in this direction is good for the county and shows that the county supports its agricultural community,” Schachtner said.


CITY OF NEW RICHMOND: Zoning rewrite update

New Richmond Community Development Director Beth Thompson presented Landform’s first draft of the city’s new zoning map to the New Richmond City Council at its April 28 special meeting. City Administrator Mike Darrow explained that the new zoning ordinance would be form-based instead of use-based.

Because the new zoning code will be such a departure from what the city currently uses, Darrow said that city staff, Plan Commission members and alderpersons would require training to ensure it is appropriately implemented and enforced.

The final zoning ordinance is expected to be completed and approved by the council this summer after the community gets a chance to offer input at an open house at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 8.


VILLAGE OF SOMERSET: Land annexation

The Somerset Plan Commission voted to recommend a concept plan to the Village Board to annex 37 acres owned by Donald and Debra Wishard, Daniel and Kaatje Plourde, David and Melinda Marson and Mark and Cynthia Jackson into the village limits.

The acreage is located just northwest of Somerset and is bordered by County Road I and 60th Street. The annexed property would be used by the Somerset Amphitheater for additional parking and camping possibilities.

Public Works Department employee Bob Gunther and the Plan Commission discussed considerations such as changing the speed limit from 55 mph to 35 mph on the segment of County Road along the annexation, how to control pedestrian traffic across County Road I to the Amphitheater grounds and the village taking over maintenance from the town of 60th Street.

The annexation will go before the Village Board on May 20, provided the state approves the annexation before the meeting.


ST. CROIX COUNTY: HHS board to meet in Hudson

The St. Croix County Health & Human Services (HHS) Board decided at its May 5 meeting that future meetings would be held at the St. Croix County Government Center in Hudson.

The decision was made by consensus after County Administrator Pat Thompson told the board members that the county was aiming to livestream and record more of its committee meetings in the spirit of openness and transparency.

The board also decided on a day of the month that would allow for more time between the their board meeting and the Board of Supervisors meeting, which typically had taken place the following day.

Going forward, the HHS board will meet at 5:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at the County Board Room in the Government Center. The next meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. on June 10.


CITY OF NEW RICHMOND: National Night Out event being planned

At its April 14 meeting, the New Richmond City Council approved a proclamation for the city to celebrate National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 5.

According to the proclamation, “the City of New Richmond endorses, supports and will work to promote the First Annual New Richmond National Night Out event … by committing administrative, police and fire department cooperation in the planning and execution of this event.”

The Public Safety Committee, the New Richmond Police Department and New Richmond Fire & Rescue will work with nonprofit organizations to plan and host the celebration.


TOWN OF SOMERSET:Zoning map information session

The Town of Somerset Planning Commission will hold a special public information meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 8 at the Somerset Town Hall (748 Hwy. 35, Somerset) concerning the town zoning map. County representatives will be present to address questions concerning the change in zoning for approximately 150 parcels that were identified and mailed a letter with a draft zoning map. Taxes will not be affected as taxes are based on the property’s use and not the zoning.


ST. CROIX COUNTY: Honoring fallen law enforcement

The public is invited to attend the third Annual St. Croix County Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Ceremony at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 13, at the Baldwin-Woodville High School auditorium (1000 13th Ave., Baldwin).

The guest speaker for this event is the former Fond du Lac Police Chief and current Director of Wisconsin Law Enforcement Training and Standards Bureau Tony Barthuly.

Every year many officers make the ultimate sacrifice while doing their jobs. In 2013, 105 officers were killed in the line of duty. This ceremony will pay tribute to these officers, as well as recognize the contributions of all the officers who work in St. Croix County.

Refreshments will follow the ceremony.


CITY OF NEW RICHMOND: Seat belt enforcement

To prevent deaths and injuries, the New Richmond Police Department, along with law enforcement agencies from all over Wisconsin, will intensify safety belt enforcement efforts during the annual Click It or Ticket mobilization from May 19 to June 1.

Click it or Ticket is more than just a slogan; it’s a life saving strategy.

Law enforcement officers must tell families that someone they love was seriously injured or killed in a crash. They must deliver tragic news even when a safety belt could have prevented an injury or death. That’s why safety belt enforcement is important.

Stopping and ticketing drivers or passengers for not wearing a safety belt is necessary to prevent unnecessary deaths due to being ejected from a vehicle or tossed around violently inside it during a crash because they did not buckle up.

Buckling up is quick, easy and a proven lifesaver. Click It or Ticket to help law enforcement achieve the goal of zero preventable traffic deaths.

Compiled by News staff