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The Somerset Village Board has given the go-ahead to the Somerset Amphitheater concert site. At the March 15 board meeting, they approved the conditional use permit for the event camping and parking and the interim conditional use permit for events and parking. "This is a brand new permit," began Jeff Johnson, village president. "The previous interim conditional use permit was used as a template." The previous permit had drawn criticism from the Somerset Fire & Rescue Department when it was left out of the planning stages after Chief Travis Belisle had campaigned for inclusion.
April would have marked his 20-year anniversary of being ordained as a deacon, but that was only one facet of Maurice Baillargeon. Baillargeon, a longtime Somerset resident, died March 16 at the age of 91. Although he lived at The Deerfield in New Richmond since March 2008, he left a big impression on the Somerset community. "He was a lifelong member at St. Anne's Church," said Deacon Dick Peterson. "He served this parish in every way he could. He will be missed by a lot of people." Baillargeon was born in Somerset on Nov.
There will be another reason to party in the Village of Roberts this summer. In addition to its Good Neighbor Days event in June, the Village of Roberts board approved a barn dance/threshing machine show at its monthly meeting on Monday, March 14. Don Greenfield, member of the St. Croix Valley Collectors Association, addressed the board members about the event. He said that a couple of farming enthusiasts had started a threshing show 25 years ago. Participation increased so much that they formed a club and one of the founders held the two-day event on his private land.
When the one of the Village of Somerset's two servers crashed the other weekend, it reinforced the idea that the Somerset police department made a good decision in signing with CORE. CORE Technology is based in Lansing, Mich. and provides software solutions for police departments and law enforcement agencies. According to Somerset Police Chief Doug Briggs, CORE will store all their files at their facility in Michigan, with a triple redundant backup. "This will save the village in not having to maintain a separate server here for the police department," Briggs explained.
Somerset may be getting some new concerts this summer. The planning commission for the Village of Somerset spent most of its Thursday, March 3, meeting discussing the proposed plans for the Float-Rite concert venue. Matt Mithun, new owner of the concert site, attended the meeting as well as the proceeding pubic hearing regarding the conditional use permit application. His proposals include adding additional camping sites and parking lots, as well as creating a new festival area to the west of the the existing amphitheater.
The Village of Somerset has contracted with a new assessor. During a closed session at its Tuesday, Feb. 22, meeting, the village board members interviewed two prospective agencies to take over the municipal assessments of property. Peter Post, of Hudson, had been the contracted assessor for the village for more than a decade.
Winter is not over yet, and the Somerset Sno-Sports Club is fine with that. The Somerset Sno-Sports is one of 12 snowmobile clubs in the area that maintain and support the 216 miles of the St. Croix County snowmobile trail system. With more than 50 members, they meet on the third Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Settlement Restaurant on Highway 35. In addition to constantly clearing brush from the trails, the members have also undertaken several big projects this year. One of their major projects was updating the St. Croix County snowmobile trail map.
The big discussion at the Roberts Village Board meeting on Monday, Feb. 14, was police and court interaction. Roberts Police Chief Dan Burgess submitted a revision to the police department's policy manual that suggested the police chief had the authority to alter reports should the original officer not be available. "There may be an instance when a report is typed up late at night and an officer omits 'not' and that changes the whole thing," explained Burgess.
"This just happened last fall." Bob Crotty, public works director, was out with his crew in the municipal parking lot on Spring Street. They were working on an inert stoplight post lying on the ground. Only a few hours ago, it was standing erect at the southeast corner of Spring and Main. At approximately 7:56 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 14, a truck driver was on Spring Street making a right-hand turn. He hit the stoplight on the corner beside General Sam's, knocking the entire post into the street. "It didn't hit anything," said Crotty.
Duana Bremer is hoping to help at least 26 more families this year. Bremer, director of the Grace Place/Salvation Army in Somerset, said that last year, her organization served 26 families through the Tenant Based Rental Assistance grant. This year, the Salvation Army received a $100,000 TRBA grant from the Department of Commerce. The grant money will be split between St. Croix, Pierce and Polk counties. TRBA is designated to subsidize rent for low-income individuals in the community.