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City of Hudson declines latest land-use offer from St. Croix County

This dirt and gravel path on county land is one that the city of Hudson was interested in improving for public use. St. Croix County has it posted as off limits to the public. Photo by Randy Hanson1 / 2
St. Croix County has posted no-trespassing signs on its property between the Government Center and Grandview Drive. Photo by Randy Hanson2 / 2

The Hudson City Council voted unanimously Monday night to reject a new offer from St. Croix County on the lease of 30 acres of Government Center land.

The city would have paid $2,000 in annual rent for the land under the latest proposal from the county.

At its April 9 meeting, the City Council refused paying $4,000 a year in rent and asked Community Development Director Dennis Darnold to approach county officials with the offer of $1 a year in rent.

The city also would have improved and maintained the dirt paths on the county land, located between the Government Center and Grandview Drive, and south of the asphalt path between Grandview and Carmichael Road.

The idea was to open the land for hiking and bicycling, and possibly other passive recreational uses.

Darnold said he presented the city's counteroffer to County Administrator Pat Thompson and County Risk Manager Kristen Ziliak. The county came back with the offer to cut the rent in half, but not essentially eliminate it.

That wasn't good enough for City Council members.

Alderperson Randy Morrissette said the county wants city residents to pay rent for land they already paid for with county taxes.

"The way I see it, they are charging us $2,000 to remove the no-trespassing signs," said Alderperson Mary Yacoub. "I feel like we are going to be charged $2,000 to do what we are already doing."

The county reportedly posted no-trespassing signs on the property about a year ago.

Mayor Alan Burchill said a dog park and a disc golf course were two possible uses of the land that would have been considered.

Alderperson John Hoggatt said user fees for the dog park and disc golf course would have covered the $2,000 a year in rent.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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