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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.
Socialization while raising social consciousness? That is just what "Dining for Women" is setting out to do. The nation-wide organization began in 2003 with Marsha Wallace of Greenville, S.C. She organized a potluck for friends and asked them to donate the money they would have paid for a restaurant meal to go towards international programs. Since then, the organization has explanded to 160 chapters in the U.S. and three other countries. Bea Evans, of New Richmond, was taken by this idea and decided to start a local chapter.
The record has been broken. In the past 11 years that the New Richmond United Methodist Church has been participating in the Souper Bowl of Caring, the most they ever collected between food and monetary donations has been $993 back in 2009. This year, the church raised a total of $1,042.98 -- all for the local food shelf. The total is a combined effort from the Sunday school kids, the youth groups and the congregation over the last few weeks. Each group set up a "souper bowl" display featuring kitchen kettles and money boxes to entice people to donate nonperishable items.
The joint Somerset boards met on Tuesday, Jan. 25, at the Town Hall to discuss the fire/rescue commission. Currently, Tom Roy serves as chairman, Rita Lawson as secretary, Doug Plourde as the elected town citizen representative, Bartt Palmer as the elected village citizen representative and Mike Hammer and Mike Hanks as the appointed fire/rescue representatives. The prompt for the discussion was that Hammer and Hanks were not showing up for the quarterly meetings. Jeff Johnson, village president, said he would check into reappointing new representatives.
In this economy, having a sales increase of 100 percent is not too shabby. The staff at the Somerset Post Office were recently recognized for their sales of the Breast Cancer stamp during the month of October. They went from selling zero in October 2009 to selling $1,496.55 in October 2010. Natalie Sorvari, manager of consumer affairs for the northland district out of Minneapolis, said that this was the first year they tried to wage a friendly competition between the 900 offices in the district to sell the stamps during Breast Cancer Awareness month.
There was a party at Ron and Deb Ramacher's Sunday, Jan. 23. People were wearing Green Bay Packer jerseys and some even brought food to share. But there wasn't a TV or radio in sight. They weren't there to cheer on the Packers while they advanced to the Super Bowl.