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It's too late to pursue legal action for possible faulty design or careless workmanship that may have led to water damage in the walls of the St. Croix County Government Center. Instead Finance Committee members agreed last week to follow a gentler course and ask the design and construction companies to help fix the damage.
St. Croix County Board minutes will be printed only in the two newspapers with the largest circulations in the county, according to action taken by the county's Finance Committee Dec.
The St. Croix County Board has adopted a 2009 budget, but while the tax levy can't change, supervisors were put on notice that at least one department will try to get more money. Property tax levy limits mandated by the state will result in a mill rate of $3.051 per $1,000 of valuation. That means an owner of a $200,000 house will pay a county tax of about 40 cents more than the owner of a house valued at $200,000 paid this year. The total property tax levy will be $26.2 million, an increase of $956,777 over this year.
St. Croix residents voted nearly 2-1 to continue using tax dollars to support the county-owned nursing home, but County Board members are divided on exactly what that vote means. The tally last week was 27,425 to 14,765 in favor of operating the nursing home using property tax money. The 2009 budget calls for tax levy support of $1 million. The question carried with at least 57 percent of the vote in every municipality, said Administrative Coordinator Chuck Whiting. Highest rates of "yes" votes were in the New Richmond area and the northern tier of towns.
Contractors preparing to replace the roof on the St. Croix County Government Center got a nasty surprise -- the walls are deteriorating too. If the problems continue around the building, repair costs could be about $750,000, guessed Facilities Manager Art Tobin. An engineer who examined the building said the leaking may be due to improper design or to poor workmanship.
Fifty-two workers at Andersen Corporation's Menomonie assembly plant were told today their jobs have been eliminated and were sent home. The plant currently had 245 employees and had a workforce of about 275 at its peak. The jobs that were cut were production workers and office support staff. "We've taken the cuts we need to take for now, based on what we know," said Maureen McDonough, Andersen's director of corporate communications.
Borrowing and budget were the focuses as St. Croix County Board members met Oct. 21. The Board accepted the best of six bids to borrow $3.18 million for building repairs and upgrades. The county will pay a true interest rate of 4.0244 percent on the money borrowed from Robert W. Baird & Company, Milwaukee. The debt, to replace the roof and heating and air conditioning system at the Government Center and replace emergency communications base station radios, will be repaid over seven years.
When they go to the polls Nov. 4, St.
Department budget requests must be cut. County sales tax income is falling short of projections. Property tax money spent on the county nursing home is money that can't be used for other needs. Those are three of the messages St. Croix County Finance Committee members will bring to the full County Board when they offer a budget proposal Tuesday, Oct. 21. Although they're not there yet, Finance Committee members spent about six hours last Thursday hammering out a 2009 budget. A week earlier, the committee started its Oct.
When she was 15, Laura Ritt was thrown from a vehicle in an accident involving a drunken driver. A few days after her 19th birthday, her neck was injured when the car she was driving was hit from behind by a drunken driver. But the incident that bothered Ritt most was coming upon a fatal accident involving a drunken driver who was her age. "That really affected me," said the 23-year-old New Richmond woman. Before then, drunk driving was something she thought someone should do something about.