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St. Croix County Board settles nursing home referendum question

St. Croix County Board members came to a final decision at their August meeting for the wording of the nursing home referendum question on the Nov. 4 ballot.

"I had the opportunity to sit in with the committee that advised the question and they did a great job to not [slant] it in any way," said board Chairman Roger Rebholz.

Supervisor Richard Marzolf asked the board if before voting on the question if they would consider his request to alter it by adding a word.

The question developed by the ad hoc nursing home referendum committee asks, "Should St. Croix County continue to operate a public nursing home if property tax dollars are needed to fund its operation?"

Marzolf's proposal was to add the word "partially" before the word "fund." He said in fairness to constituents, some may misinterpret the question or find it misleading.

This brought up several opposing views by fellow board members, which included: changing the question would negate the months of time and effort the board put into developing it; the suggestion that "partially" could be equally misleading; and that voters should know there are a variety of funding sources for nursing homes. The proposal to add the word was defeated after a vote of 18-12.

When time came for the board to vote on the final question, it was approved with a 25-5 vote. This also includes approval of the explanatory statement prepared by the corporation counsel that reads:

"The St. Croix County Board of Supervisors desires public input on the question of whether or not the county should continue to operate the public nursing home if property tax dollars are needed to fund its operation. The result of the vote is advisory, not binding. A 'yes' vote means you want the county to continue to operate the public nursing home if property tax dollars are needed to fund its operation. A 'no' vote means you do not want the county to continue to operate the public nursing home if property tax dollars are needed to fund its operation."

Other items on the agenda were the resolutions approving the amendment to the town of Hudson zoning ordinances for the Planned Unit Development District and also Distribution Centers. Both were approved. The courthouse roof was also discussed, and further decisions are expected to be made on that item within the next couple of months.

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