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A five-foot statue of a tornado may soon be a permanent fixture in Glover Park in New Richmond. Talk of a special memorial began to swirl during last year's 150th anniversary of the establishment of New Richmond. Many suggested an eventual statue should somehow commemorate the event that changed New Richmond forever -- the 1899 cyclone that wiped out much of the community. "People have asked why we would want to celebrate a time when so many lives were lost," said Jerry Brown, economic development director for the City and a driving force behind the statue and time capsule project.
Something's got to go -- the power line or the trees. That's the message St. Croix Electric officials have delivered to Arvid and Mona Flanum of rural New Richmond. St. Croix Electric has indicated that large pines trees on the Flanum's property have to be removed immediately, or the couple has to pay to have an overhead power line on their property buried. The trees have grown up and engulfed power lines that provide electricity to the neighborhood. Trees in contact with power lines have been causing power outages on a too-frequent basis, and St.
Railroad crossings in New Richmond will get some upgrades, if the City Council has its way. Mayor David Schnitzler said City officials have met with the Office of the Commissioner of Railroads seeking improvements. The City Council Monday unanimously approved a resolution officially asking for action by the state. The railroad crossings at 140th Street, County Road K, Washington and First Street and Mary Park would get new lights and drop-down gates if the state agrees.
Plans for a Sesquicentennial time capsule and a Cyclone Memorial are still progressing. The idea for the project was generated last year during the 150th birthday celebration of New Richmond.
The boxes are packed, the stained glass window has been removed and the ministry year is winding down at the Roberts Congregational United Church of Christ Church. It must be time to move. The Roberts community fixture on West Warren Street has been part of the local landscape since 1884, when the congregation purchased a building from Hudson and moved it to its present location. But the finishing touches are being completed on a new facility along Highway 12 on the northern edge of town, and preparations to occupy that space are moving quickly forward. Of course, there are mixed feelings
Jean Johnson loves her hometown. That's what made her selection as the 2008 Roberts Good Neighbor particularly special. "They say home is where your heart is," Johnson said following the award announcement at Friday night's Miss Roberts coronation, "and my heart has always been here." Johnson was born and raised in Roberts, and left briefly for college and a job, but eventually she returned to the area she loves. "Even though Roberts has grown much bigger, it still has that small town feel. It's still a caring town," she said.
J.A. Counter & Associates of New Richmond is on the cutting edge of new ways to conduct business and they're getting some national attention. The local investment and insurance firm was featured on "Good Morning America" Tuesday, June 3, for a segment on a new business model the company has implemented. The local firm is only the second company worldwide to use the Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) where employees no longer punch a time clock.
Water could be more expensive in New Richmond come July 1. The New Richmond Municipal Water Utility has filed for a rate increase with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. If approved, the rate adjustment calls for a two-stage bump upward. The first step would be a 23 percent increase. The second bump would result in a 41 percent hike in the current rate. For a typical residential customer, who uses 5,000 gallons of water per month, the current $18.10 rate will increase to $22.45.
The area's newest siding and roofing company expects to be pretty busy after recent storms damaged local homes and businesses. Ultimate Exteriors opened for business about a month ago, offering homeowners help with roofing, siding, gutters and decking. The owner, Tom Peterson, is no stranger to the community. He's president of the Star Prairie Lion's Club and has worked in construction locally for many years. "I've been in the construction business all my life," Peterson said.