Judy Wiff has been regional editor for RiverTown’s Wisconsin newspapers since 1996. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from UW-River Falls. She has worked as a reporter for several weekly newspapers in Wisconsin.
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A $300,000 grant from Andersen Foundation will cover most of the cost of a therapy pool for St. Croix County’s new nursing home being built in New Richmond. When county supervisors met last spring with the architects, the general contractor and market-study consultants for the $20 million construction and remodeling project, the therapy pool was discussed but set aside as costs were trimmed.
Filings were strong as the deadline approached Tuesday, and in the end races had developed for eight seats on the 19-member St. Croix County Board. Ten incumbents are running unopposed, and in another district, the incumbent is not running but a former board member is. The general election will be held Tuesday, April 5. No primary races are expected.
As of Monday morning there were firm candidates for six of the 19 seats on the St. Croix County Board, two registered candidates for two seats and no declared candidates for six seats. The filing deadline is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5. Those interested in running must register their candidacy with the county clerk and collect 20-100 signatures on their nomination papers.
A proposal to borrow $5 million for repair projects that failed to win approval from the St. Croix County Board earlier this month will come back to the board in January. “We’re stymied without the funding for these very important projects,” County Administrator Pat Thompson told Administration Committee members last week.
The woman who would have become St. Croix’s second-in-command Jan. 1 turned in her resignation last week after the county’s former emergency support services director, a New Richmond man, claimed her influence was a factor that led to his dismissal. Kirsten Ziliak’s role with the county has been a major item of discussion at county board meetings after a personnel consultant concluded though Ziliak had the title of senior management analyst, she had taken on the duties of assistant county administrator.
During its Dec. 1 meeting, the St. Croix County Board hired a human resources director and confirmed changes to the paid-time-off payout policy for county staff. After more than eight months without a person in that role, the board voted last week to hire Heather Murray as its human services director. Murray has been Eau Claire County’s HR director for 10 years. Her annual salary in St. Croix County will be $101,200.
HUDSON -- A proposal to borrow $5 million for a list of repair projects failed to get the supermajority of support needed from St. Croix County Board members Dec. 1. The cost of the projects on the list that accompanied the resolution totaled $5.7 million. Administrators said the list would be revised after further analysis.
After extensive discussion of three items at their most recent meeting, the members of the St. Croix County Board adopted a 2016 budget that will raise the property tax levy by a little more than $1 million and result in a slight increase for the average homeowner. The issues that provoked the most discussion during the meeting were a plan to split the use of bond money between the new nursing home and other projects, the creation of the position of assistant county administrator and development of a day-reporting area at the jail.
Following an IRS agent’s claim that the county owes taxes for the years it allowed employees to choose between banking or cashing out unused paid-time-off hours, the St. Croix County Board is considering a change in the policy.
The Administration Committee is recommending St. Croix County borrow $5 million next year for building repair projects - on top of the $10 million the county borrowed this year and the $10 million it will borrow in 2016 for the new nursing home. The proposal will go to the full county board Dec. 1 where it needs the vote of 15 of the 19 supervisors for adoption.