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After months of debate, The Village of Roberts is one step closer to setting a new water rate. The Public Service Commission looked over the village's records and recommended a 23 percent increase for water. The village had been hoping to stay around 20 percent. "We're not happy that it is more heavy towards the residential areas," said Doreen Kruschke, village clerk. "But they (the PSC) said they would not reconsider that." The village had been raising the water bill - which is separate from the sewer bill - five years in a row until 2003, then again in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010.
The village of Somerset had big plans for the 99 acres it purchased in 2009. Unfortunately, the economy had other plans. The property -- Tax Incremental District (TID) #4 -- is located off Hwy. 35N. There has not been any development in the area to generate revenue to pay off the approximate $3 million debt.
Feeling a little love in your heart? Love Baskets, the volunteer group that gives holiday gifts to needy families in the New Richmond and Somerset school districts, is having a meeting for people interested in volunteering on Monday, Nov. 14, at 9:30 a.m. at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in New Richmond. According to Kay Brooks, one of the organizers of the program, the program helped 300 local families last year. The group gathers names of local families in need via schools, churches, public health agencies and concerned friends and neighbors.
The face of the Somerset Fire/Rescue Department is about to change. Approximately 11 firefighters have signed up to participate in Movember - the national movement to raise awareness about men's health, specifically prostate cancer. The participants have agreed to be clean-shaven on Nov. 1, then they will grow mustaches only during the month of November.
Officer Adam Wojciehowski has been with the Somerset Police Department for 11 years, having gotten the job right after graduating from college. "Actually, it's been 11 years, and three months," he said, after a quick count on his fingers. Wojciehowski, an officer known around Somerset Village Hall for his quick smile and good humor, will be leaving the Somerset Police Department on Nov.
To bow hunt, or not to bow hunt? That was the question the Somerset Village Board pondered at its Tuesday, Oct. 18, meeting.
"We just wanted to let them know we care." Sandi Mackynen, member of the Somerset Buds Garden Club, spoke of the Autumn Blaze maple tree that they had planted between the Somerset Town Hall and Highway 35. The 8-foot tall tree was purchased by the club back in early summer, using the proceeds from their annual plant sale. Each year, the club uses its fundraising money for a community beautification project. This year, Mackynen suggested doing something for the soldiers serving overseas. "I don't know anyone personally serving, or any of their families," said Mackynen.
Looking for a spooky good time in Somerset for Halloween? There are plenty of options to choose from. HALLOWEEN PARTY The Girl Scouts of Somerset are hosting their annual Halloween party on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Somerset Middle School. There will be games, crafts, concessions and a haunted house. There is no admission fee to the party and it is open to the public. HAUNTED HAYRIDES New this year is the St. Croix Spookyville at the Apple River Family Campground, 345 Church Hill Road. The two-day event begins on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 6 p.m.
What group can pay off a $1 million facility within a year of construction? Answer: the Hazel Mackin Library Board in Roberts. Suzanne Strack, treasurer of the library board, presented Willard Moeri, village president, with a final check of $24,444.59 at the Village of Roberts Board meeting on Monday, Oct. 10. The check was the last one in paying off the $1.5 million new library building that opened last September. "The actual construction did not cost the community members anything," commented Dora Rohl, former library board chairwoman.
It was a trickle at first, but then it was a tidal wave. Students at Paperjack Elementary School and their teachers took a 10-minute break during their morning routine to walk in the gym Thursday, Oct. 6. Walking to the strains of the mid-1990's hit "Macarena," the first group was joined by another, then another, and then another, until the entire gym was filled with kids.