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Council OKs spending $730,000 on capital projects and equipment

The Hudson City Council authorized moving forward with street projects, a roof repair and the purchase of a front-end loader totaling an estimated $730,000 in cost when it met Monday night, April 8.

The spending includes $200,000 for engineering street mill and overlay projects, $230,000 for street crack-filling and seal-coating, $100,000 to replace the roof on the library and police building, and $200,000 to purchase a front-end loader.

The council also approved an estimated $60,000 worth of work on the dike road, but that money will come from fees paid by sailboat mooring holders.

The dike road spending includes an estimated $30,000 for rip-rap to stabilize the slopes in the area of the bridge, $20,000 for filling cracks in the road surface, and $10,000 for an underwater inspection of the bridge abutments.

All of the spending was the most thoroughly discussed in the 6 p.m. Finance Committee meeting that preceded the City Council meeting. The council meeting at 7 p.m. lasted only 15 or 20 minutes.

The members of the Finance Committee are Mayor Alan Burchill, the chair, Council President Rich Vanselow and alderpersons Lori Bernard and Randy Morrissette II.

City Finance Officer Neil Soltis reported that the city has $1,054,971 remaining in its capital project fund from a previous bond issue, and $2,885,600 in department requests for capital spending in 2013.

Soltis noted that the city's financial advisor, Ehlers & Associates, will be presenting a five-year financial plan for the city to the Finance Committee on April 16.

The plan will have information pertinent to how much money for capital projects the council might want to raise through a new bond issue, Soltis said.

"The issue is, what do we really need to do now?" Soltis said.

Public Works and Parks Director Tom Zeuli said he would like to get started on the engineering for the street projects. In the past, projects have been approved too late in the spring to allow their timely completion, he said, and the work has ended up being done in the late fall.

The streets proposed for resurfacing this year are:

--Buckeye, from Second to the river;

--The residential portion of Crest View Drive;

--Gateway Boulevard, from Crest View south to the Menards store;

--Hanley Road, from Namekagon Street to Carmichael Road and from Heggen Street to O'Keefe Road; and

--O'Keefe Road, from Crest View to Mayer Road.

"Our streets are bad," Morrissette said during the Finance Committee meeting. He said he wants to resurface more streets this year than are on the list so far.

Morrissette and Bernard questioned whether the underwater inspection of the dike road bridge abutments is necessary. Bernard suggested inquiring whether the St. Croix EMS Dive Team could do some of the information gathering.

The committee members agree that the leaking First Street building roof needs to be replaced as quickly as possible.

"It's a mess that needs to be fixed," Mayor Burchill said. He said the library and police building is an asset the city needs to protect.

Other action

The council also:

--Authorized beginning the recruitment process for a Public Works Department mechanic to replace Dan Ortner, who has resigned from the position. Zeuli said following the meeting that Ortner has taken a job with U.S. Bank in Bloomington, Minn. "We'll miss him," Zeuli said. "He could fix anything."

--Approved an application for a Class "B" beer license for Kingdom Buffet of Hudson Inc. The Chinese restaurant located in the retail building connected to the County Market store has a new owner, Ji Q. Yang.

--Approved the renewal and issuance of a six-month Class B beer license for the Hudson Softball Association to sell beer at the concession building in Grandview Park.

--Approved the application of the Hudson Boosters for temporary licenses to sell beer and wine at the annual Booster Days in Lakefront Park, set for July 3-6.

--Approved the appointment of Janell M. Klatt, North Hudson, as the agent for the Northland Liquors store at 1920 Crest View Drive.

--Approved $2,000 in emergency repairs to a metal railing at the west end of the City Hall parking lot. The bases of the posts reportedly had deteriorated to point where the railing was in danger of falling into the alley below.

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.

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