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The Hudson City Council on Monday night approved the plans for a roundabout on Stageline Road in front of Hudson Hospital & Clinics.

Stageline Road roundabout approved by City Council

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news River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

A roundabout will lead to the new medical office building at Hudson Hospital & Clinics.

Monday night, the City Council approved plans for the single-lane roundabout located on Stageline Road at the access to the hospital's main entrance.

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The Hudson Plan Commission had recommended approval of the roundabout.

"Our biggest concern is for left turns coming out of that hospital facility," said Community Development Director Dennis Darnold, explaining why the roundabout was recommended.

Darnold said a T-intersection was originally designed for the hospital entrance, but city officials decided that a roundabout would be a safer option for motorists leaving the hospital and clinics.

District 2 Alderperson Mary Yacoub indicated that she isn't a fan of roundabouts, but said she didn't think there is better solution for this intersection.

"I don't want to see another stoplight (in that area)," Yacoub said, adding that others from her district on the southeast side of Hudson have expressed the same view.

District 5 Alderperson John Hoggatt said roundabouts reduce stops and save gas.

"It keeps traffic flowing," said Yacoub.

District 1 Alderperson Randy Morrissette II asked whether a public hearing had been held on the plans. When told there wasn't a hearing, he indicated that he thought there should have been one.

Morrissette, nevertheless, didn't contest the plans. They were approved on a voice vote with no opposition.

Fireworks

Morrissette's quest to increase the amount of money spent on the annual Booster Days fireworks display failed to gain enough support from other City Council members.

He initially suggested using $4,000 of unallocated room tax revenue to augment the display that now costs the city $10,000 (also from the room tax).

Morrissette said the fireworks close to the Fourth of July bring a lot of visitors to Hudson and are good for downtown businesses.

Mayor Alan Burchill reported that the city's appeal to neighboring municipalities to help fund the fireworks hadn't produced any takers.

"I think it's a good idea. Stillwater puts on a heck of a show," Hoggatt said, supporting Morrissette's proposal.

"It's a good draw by land and water," he said of Hudson's fireworks display.

But none of the five other council members supported the idea.

"I have never heard anybody say that it was a bad show," District 4 Alderperson Kurt TeWinkel said of the Booster Days fireworks.

"As the mother of a 5-year-old, 10 more explosions aren't going to do anything for me," added Yacoub.

Council President Rich Vanselow questioned whether downtown Hudson could accommodate more people than the fireworks already draw.

District 3 Alderperson Lori Bernard said fireworks aren't what she would spend more room tax dollars on. She suggested that the city try again to get financial support for the display from neighboring municipalities.

iPods for officials

The council tentatively approved the purchase of 11 iPads for council members and city officials to use for receiving agendas and information for meetings.

The iPads and accessories would cost $770 each, or a total of $8,470, Michael Kruger, the city's IT coordinator, reported.

Kruger recommended the purchase of the iPads, saying they would be easier to use and no more costly in the long run than Samsung Galaxy Tabs. The more expensive Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet also was an option.

Kruger said the iPads would cut paper usage and enhance e-mail and Internet access for council members. It would also eliminate the need for police officers to deliver information packets to council members prior to meetings, he said.

Bernard was skeptical of the claimed savings. She said the iPads would be replaced after a few years at an additional cost, and that work would be transferred, but not go away.

She said the city could buy a lot of paper for what the iPads will cost.

The motion to pursue purchase of the iPads carried on a voice vote with no opposition.

City Administrator Devin Willi said Tuesday that the council didn't give final approval to the purchase. He said the council still needs to identify a funding source for the iPads and that the issue will be back on its agenda in a future meeting.

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