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City lends support to shop-locally campaign

The city of Hudson will give financial backing to two initiatives aimed at encouraging people to shop and eat at Hudson's locally owned businesses following action at Monday night's City Council meeting.

The council agreed to pay $500 for a membership in the new Hudson Independent Business Association and to contribute $195 for a billboard on Interstate 94 in Minnesota that will direct motorists to downtown Hudson.

Sandee Madigan, owner of the Elan clothing shop, and Shelli Erck, owner of Hudson Flower Shop, described the objectives of the new business association prior to the vote.

Madigan explained that the idea for it came following a visit to Hudson earlier this year by a national expert on the value of locally owned businesses to a community. The expert's visit was sponsored by the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau, Madigan noted, adding that the new Independent Business Association has the support of the chamber.

The association will begin a year-long "Thanks! For Stopping By" campaign in September, she reported. According to material presented to the council, the campaign will feature six full-page ads in the Star-Observer featuring individual businesses, small weekly ads in the newspaper, a newspaper essay kicking off the campaign, cards listing association members to be given to customers, and posters highlighting the value of shopping locally.

Kathy Newman, owner of Et Cetera gift and home accessories shop, told the council about the billboard that a group of downtown businesses has leased for the months of September and October. It is located on the eastbound side of I-94 near Manning Avenue.

Newman showed council members a picture of the sign face, which will read: "Join The Fun - Exit One. Downtown Hudson - Five Miles."

Newman said the goal is to sign up 30 businesses to help pay for the billboard. The price for the two months if 30 entities join the effort will be $195, she said. She said 24 businesses had pledged support so far.

"I like your initiative and I like your plan," Mayor Jack Breault told the business owners when they had finished with their presentations.

"It certainly is going to bring people to Hudson," agreed District 5 Alderman Scot O'Malley.

Breault recommended using revenue from the city's room tax to pay for a membership in the Independent Business Association and fund a share of the billboard cost.

The council adopted a motion to that effect on a unanimous voice vote.

Other business

Also at Monday night's meeting, the council:

  • Accepted a bid from Consolidated Energy Co-op to provide unleaded gasoline for city vehicles from Sept. 1, 2005, to Aug. 31, 2006, at a price of $2.17 per gallon, and diesel fuel at a price of $2.24 per gallon.

  • Adopted a National Incident Management System that requires local, state and federal governments to cooperate in responding to a major disaster. The system also requires local EMS, fire and police chiefs and some elected officials to undergo further emergency response training. The city needed to adopt the system in order to continue to be eligible for federal emergency management grants.

  • Adopted a resolution agreeing to "follow the technology, security, maintenance, support and process guidelines developed by the State Elections Board relating to use of the Statewide Voter Registration System."

  • Authorized Parks and Public Works Director Jim Eulberg to proceed with preparing plans and advertising for bids for the expansion of the Grandview Park parking lot.

    Randy Hanson can be reached at

  • 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.

    (715) 426-1066