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Greater St. Croix Valley Partnership teams met with legislators in Madison. Among the participants were, from left, Cedric Ellingson of Bo's N' Mine, 67th Assembly District Representative Tom Larson, Patti Robertson of WESTconsin Credit Union and Mike Stoffel of Ayers Associates. Submitted photo

Business and civic leaders travel to Madison

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Just over 30 volunteers from Dunn, Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties participated in appointments at the state Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 8, as part of the Greater St. Croix Valley Partnership Legislative Day. The event coincides with the start of the annual Governor's Conference on Economic Development and several participants from the four-county region remained in Madison to attend the conference.

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"The Greater St. Croix Valley's four-hour distance to Madison makes it imperative to maintain ongoing contact and dialogue with state legislators from across the state," said William Rubin, executive director of St. Croix Economic Development Corporation (EDC). "Dunn, Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix counties are among the state's leaders in population growth. The sustained growth creates opportunities and challenges that must be conveyed to our legislative delegation and key committee chairs.

"Pierce and St. Croix counties are included in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Statistical Area, the nation's 15th-largest metro area. Dunn County is part of the Menomonie, Wisconsin Micropolitan Area, and Polk County will likely be the next area added to the Twin Cities metro region. Supporting our legislative priorities is mutually beneficial to the Greater St. Croix Valley and the rest of the state."

Volunteers met with legislators or their staff in teams of two or three. Appointments occurred throughout the afternoon. The final appointment was in the governor's conference room for a meeting with a policy assistant.

The legislative issues promoted by the Greater St. Croix Valley Partnership include:

  • Restoring the income tax reciprocity agreement with Minnesota

    The terminated reciprocity agreement impacted commuting workers from Superior to La Crosse, including several thousand in the Greater St. Croix Valley where the economic engine of the Twin Cities creates job opportunities.

  • Connecting rural Wisconsin with Broadband

    The deployment of fiber into rural areas of the Greater St. Croix Valley creates economic opportunities for residents and businesses.

  • Support for I-94 Corridor Studies

    WisDOT and several coalitions are conducting studies to address the transportation needs of Interstate 94, a major east-west corridor in the St. Croix Valley between the Twin Cities and Eau Claire MSAs and the Menomonie Mircopolitan Area.

  • Protecting Transportation Funds

    A Constitutional amendment to protect transportation funds will ensure that scarce dollars are spent on maintaining existing infrastructure and building overdue projects.

  • Support for UW System Flexibility

    Supporting flexible and distinctive campuses is an important initiative of the UW System and will benefit UW-River Falls and UW-Stout in the Greater St. Croix Valley.

    The Partnership's Legislative Day is sponsored by the Chambers of Commerce in Hudson, Menomonie, New Richmond, and River Falls, The county EDCs in Dunn, Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix, UW-River Falls, and Momentum West.

    For additional information, contact Jacki Bradham or William Rubin at St. Croix EDC, (715) 381-4383.

    Attendees

    Attending for the area were: Patti Robertson, WESTconsin Credit Union (Hudson office); Blake Fry, UW-River Falls; Chancellor Dean Van Galen, UW-River Falls; Bill Rubin, St. Croix EDC; Ryan Sicard, St. Croix EDC; Paul Mayer, New Richmond Area EDC; Pete Kling, St. Croix County; Angela Popenhagen, Stevens Engineers; Daryl Standafer, St. Croix County Board of Supervisors; John Kleven, Chippewa Valley Technical College; Laura King, Chippewa Valley Technical College; Roxane Molinari, Chippewa Valley Technical College; Steve Healy, Polk County EDC; Chris Smith, Dunn County EDC; Kim Heinemann, Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau; Trudy Popenhagen, Xcel Energy; Paul Shafer, Amery EDC; James Hanke, Xcel Energy; Scott Jones, RCU; Robin Buck, Dunn County EDC Board; Mike Stoffel, Ayres Associates; Mark Huber, City of Prescott; Char Gurney, Regional Planning Commission; Beth Waldhardt, Regional Planning Commission; Terry McKay, ERA Muske Real Estate; Tom Elbert, River Falls Industrial Center; Kris Ainsworth, Shared Solutions; Cedric Ellingson, Bo's N' Mine; Rosanne Bump, River Falls Area Chamber of Commerce; Bill Warner, Pierce County EDC; Russ Korpela, New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce; Patrick Thompson, St. Croix County Administrator; Doug Mell, UW-Stout; and Larry Dokkestul, Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services.

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