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There are already candidates for 18 of the 19 seats on the St. Croix County Board, and races are shaping up in five districts. The only district that has no declared candidate as yet is District 8, which includes the village of Hammond, part of the town of Eau Galle and the towns of Hammond, Pleasant Valley and Rush River. In April 2010 for the first time, county voters will select 19 rather than 31 county supervisors.
New Richmond made the first pitch for a portion of St. Croix County's allocation of federal economic stimulus subsidies intended to help municipalities pay for building or infrastructure projects. But the county's highway department is eyeing some of the subsidy to help catch up on lagging road work. Other departments and municipalities may also want part of the limited assistance. Last week St. Croix's finance committee voted to recommend that the county board designate the entire county a Recovery Zone, which is the first step toward qualifying for the assistance. St.
At its Tuesday, Sept. 22, meeting, the St. Croix County Board will be asked to authorize a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant loan for Engineered Propulsion Systems, New Richmond. The company, which intends to build a new diesel engine for airplanes and helicopters, has applied to the Wisconsin Department of Commerce for the federally funded grant. The company has patented a light-weight flat V-8 engine and plans to bring the fuel-efficient diesel engine into production.
Arguing for fairness and that more money would mean more resources for people looking for jobs or inexpensive entertainment, librarians are asking St. Croix County to raise its library tax. The county's finance committee listened to discussion last week but took no action and will instead forward the matter to the full St. Croix County Board during a preliminary 2010 budget presentation Sept.
Although more than a third of them won't be back, St. Croix County supervisors were asked last week to give serious thought to how they believe the new board should be organized. Last fall county residents voted to cut the number of county board members from 31 to 19. A redistricting plan has been developed, and when board candidates file for the 2010 spring election, they will run for 12 fewer seats. The Administration Committee has been charged with developing proposals to restructure board committees.
Participants in a planning session for St. Croix County's nursing home intend for it to become self-sufficient by 2015 and to diversify its services to meet changing needs. The big first step, reported Nursing Home Administrator Frank Robinson on Tuesday, will be to cut $300,000 from the amount the facility receives annually from the county property tax levy.
In a July 21 decision, the District III Court of Appeals ordered that the Central St. Croix Rod and Gun Club's firing range, south of Baldwin, be permanently closed. In May 2006, Barry Serier and other neighbors sued the club, which operated several shooting ranges on 11 acres it owns in the Town of Eau Galle. The neighbors complained they had experienced many near misses with stray bullets and that their buildings had been hit by bullets.
In a June 17 decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court found a Baldwin-Woodville teacher is indeed entitled to back pay after an error placed her on the wrong lane of the salary schedule. This ruling reverses a District III Court of Appeals decision in a lawsuit filed by the West Central Education Association on behalf of Christine Johnson. The appeals court had ruled that the Baldwin-Woodville School District didn't owe Johnson back pay because she filed her grievance too late. According to background in the Supreme Court decision, Johnson was hired as a Baldwin-Woodville teacher in fall 2002.
The Wisconsin Legislature is apparently close to adopting a statewide public indoor smoking ban. The measure, which would prohibit smoking in restaurants, bars, sports arenas and most other workplaces, was approved by a 5-2 vote of the Senate Health Committee and by an 11-2 vote of the Assembly Health and Healthcare Reform Committee Friday. Both houses of the Legislature are expected to vote this week on the bill, which would take effect July 5, 2010. Randy Calleja, owner of Ready Randy's Sports Bar & Grill, said the move isn't a surprise.
Just as repair work on the Government Center roof got underway, St. Croix County supervisors were advised last week that the roof on another county building needs replacing. Facilities Manager Art Tobin said he isn't asking for money to repair the roof on the Agricultural Services and Education Center in Baldwin now, but suggested the work be done next year. "This isn't going to last three (years)," said Tobin. "You got 11 years out of those shingles. That's terrible," commented County Board Chairman Roger Rebholz.