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Village hears bike trail proposal; 'Welcome to North Hudson' sign plan hits a snag

The village of North Hudson Board heard information at its monthly meeting on Feb. 5 about an opportunity to join other municipalities in developing a bike/walking trail to attach to a loop trail being planned in eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin in conjunction with the new St. Croix River crossing near Stillwater.

The plan being developed is a 4.5 mile loop involving both the new river crossing and the current lift bridge that will be closed to auto traffic when the new bridge is built. Some citizens are hopeful that Hudson North Hudson and other area communities will attempt to connect to the trail.

Kevin Adkins from the town of St. Joseph came to the North Hudson meeting. Adkins, along with other people, have been contacting communities and looking at possible grants to make the project a reality.

"We have been working with various municipalities, the county, the DNR and others," Adkins said. "We are looking at all the options."

He added that a bike lane on Hwy. 35 is not considered a good option. He is looking for path separated from the busy highway.

"We're not looking for any money, just a partnership," Adkins said.

Village board members said they would consider the proposal.

Welcome signs

A proposal to place signs intended to greet travelers on the road as they enter North Hudson has hit a roadblock.

The signs were thought to be a way of promoting the village with proceeds from last summer's Centennial celebration.

Village Director of Public Work Mark Ekblad said he was informed by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation that the signs could not be placed on highway rights of way. The right of way extends 80 feet from the center of the road (160 feet total), causing signs to be a long way from the road, and also on private property in most cases.

Hwy. 35 goes through North Hudson and the village does not own the road. That is not the case in Hudson where the city purchased the road a number of years ago. The state no longer offers the option for municipalities to purchase highway segments.

In light of the fact that the signs can apparently not be put on state rights of way and the village would need approval from private land owners, President George Klein suggested the board approve a design, but not the purchase of the signs. Originally the board was prepared to purchase two signs from Lebo Sign Works at a cost not to exceed $2,200.

Other action

--The board amended wording in a zoning ordinance. The wording deals with the definition of "storage" and regulations for storage of hazardous substances. The ordinance came into question last year when a company was seeking approval to open a facility in the old North Hudson car shops area. The firm manufactured windshield wash for automobiles and eventually withdrew its request. Ironically, under the new wording of the ordinance, the firm would have been allowed in North Hudson.

--The board also amended the wording of an ordinance dealing with home occupations and the permitting of day care facilities in residential districts. Essentially a person cannot run a business out of home without a conditional use permit, and limits the number of children at an in-home day care facility to eight, down from 10. Day cares are actually regulated by the state and eight is what's allowed by state law.

--Approved the appointment of village administration Gloria Troester to temporarily fill the role as acting village clerk. Previous clerk Becky Milbrandt recently left the position and Troester will fill the role until a new clerk is hired.

--Appointed Carol and Brent Worrell as village representatives on the Senior Citizens Board.

--Approved non-recurring claims against the village totaling $108.897.64. Part of the total are claims left from December 2012 ($14,042), the remainder is for February 2013.

"The total took a big jump because February is when the first of two payments is due to the city of Hudson for the library and the EMS contract," Klein said.

--Approved the Animal Control Contract between the village and Kathi Pelnar beginning Feb. 5 and continuing until Dec. 31, 2013.

Present at the meeting were President Klein and trustees Ted Head, Stan Wekkin, Marc Zappa and Colleen O'Brien-Berglund; absent were trustees Dan Ortner and Daryl Standafer.