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County Board authorizes purchase of property

Last week the St. Croix County Board gave its Transportation Committee authority to buy land in the Deer Park area for a gravel pit and new shop.

The committee is authorized to spend up to $100,000. The money will come from the Highway Department Machinery Fund.

Transportation Committee Chairman Dick King said the department doesn't plan to build the new satellite shop now, but needs the land and someone else is bidding on it.

He said the department will eventually sell satellite shops in Star Prairie and Deer Park to help pay for the new property.

In other business, the County Board authorized the Health and Human Services Board to apply for a $55,000 grant to develop a resource center for senior citizens and people with disabilities.

If the county gets the start-up grant, it will be eligible for $200,000 per year in state money for operating expenses, said Long Term Support Coordinator Ron Lockwood.

He said the purpose of the program is to help people find less costly alternatives and avoid moving into a nursing home prematurely.

The Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services is soliciting proposals for centers that would offer "a single entry point for information and assistance on issues affecting older people, people with disabilities and their families; and as a clearinghouse of long-term care information available to physicians, hospital discharge planners, or other professionals working with older persons or people with disabilities...."

According to the resolution adopted by the County Board, such a center would "provide seamless access to public benefits, as well as counseling and advocacy to overcome barriers to using services."

The grant will require a local match, but that can be in-kind and met by current county programs.