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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The St. Croix County Board was to consider this week a vote to spend $185,000 to buy 13.764 acres on Bass Lake for a county park. This will be the third land purchase using $2 million in St. Croix River Crossing mitigation funds allocated to the county, said Ellen Denzer, the county’s community development director. About $880,000 will be remaining in the fund after this purchase.
After some supervisors protested they hadn’t been able to read the document, the St. Croix County Administration Committee voted last week to send the proposed 2016 budget to the full county board with no recommendation. The budget would raise the property tax levy more than $1 million and result in a monthly increase of about 50 cents for the owner of a median-value home.
Using a statewide online auction service worked well for selling tax-deed property, reported St. Croix County Clerk Cindy Campbell. At their Sept. 16 meeting, Administration Committee members approved the sale of seven parcels through the Wisconsin Surplus Online Auction. The total of the bids was nearly $172,000 more than what is owed in delinquent taxes, interest and penalties.
The Wisconsin Senate continues its focus on encouraging job creation and economic development as its Committee on Economic Development and Commerce schedules roundtable discussions around the state, including one in Menomonie, reports Senator Sheila Harsdorf. The Menomonie roundtable, which is open to the public, will begin at 2 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12, in the Dunn County Judicial Center, 615 Stokke Parkway.
Twenty years ago Thomas Woznicki successfully fought to block release of his New Richmond School District personnel file.
Revenues from fees and fines are down while her office continues to make slow progress toward going paperless and dealing with staff turnover, said St. Croix County Clerk of Court Kristi Severson. She presented her annual report to the County Board Sept. 1. During a phone interview before the meeting, Severson attributed a drop in revenue, in part, to fewer cases being filed, especially in civil, small claims and family court.
St. Croix County’s Administration Committee will hire a tax attorney for advice on an IRS agent’s decision that taxes are owed on some unused paid time off hours even if employees don’t cash them out.
A favorable credit rating means St. Croix County will pay 2.649 percent interest on the first half of the money it’s borrowing for construction and remodeling at the Health Center in New Richmond.
The addition of a new position, assistant county administrator, was a sticking point last week as the St. Croix County Board received and adopted a salary schedule based on a market study.
With just County Board approval needed, St. Croix County is set to buy 53.29 acres of undeveloped land along the St. Croix River in the town of St. Joseph. The land, which is being purchased from retired county judge C.A. Richards and his wife Jeanette, has an “undisturbed, very natural shoreline, beach access, 2,000 feet of bluffline and 1,300 feet of shoreline, said Community Development Director Ellen Denzer. The purchase was approved by the Administration Committee July 15 and will be on the County Board’s Aug.