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Village of North Hudson changes capital expenditure law

A little less than a decade ago, there was a battle raging in the village of North Hudson regarding the installation of sidewalks in the village and proposed sewer and water extension into St. Croix Station. After some hotly contested elections, trustees opposed to the improvements/spending of tax dollars gained control of the village board. The board soon passed an ordinance essentially saying that no capital improvements could be made in the village of more than $150,000 unless the expenditure was approved in a referendum.

The board changed the ordinance without much fanfare Tuesday, March 6. The new ordinance raises the capital investment ceiling to $900,000. The ordinance passed on a five to one vote with Stan Wekkin the lone dissenter. Approving the new ordinance were trustees Daryl Standafer, Marc Zappa, Colleen O'Brien-Berglund, Dan Ortner and President George Klein. Trustee Jim Thomas was absent.

Klein said the old ordinance was "not efficient" and costing the village money.

"Every maintenance project had to be capped at about $135,000," Klein said. He noted that some street projects were started and stopped and started again. He said it is more economical to take on a street project from start to finish, rather than piecing it together over two or three years.

"We looked at other municipalities that have similar ordinances and only a couple were under $1 million," Klein said. "We kept it under $1 million, but made it high enough to still be able to operate the village."


The board also passed an ordinance and related organizational chart that clarifies the position and chain of command of the village administrator/treasurer. It calls for most of the employees of the village to be under the administrator's command on day-to-day situations. In the past, employees were directly under the direction of the president.

The administrator, currently Gloria Troester, is in the village hall during business hours, while the village president generally is not. The administrator however, will still report to the president who is above the administrator on the flow chart.

See the linked online legal notices that also appeared in the March 15 print edition of the Star-Observer for more information on these two ordinances.

Other business

  • President George Klein said some people have stepped forward to assist with the upcoming village centennial celebration scheduled Sunday, June 10. He is, however, looking for more volunteers.

    "We're looking for something simple," Klein said. "Maybe an ice cream social with root beer, ice cream and pie. I have lined up a brass band."

    He also announced that the Centennial Recipe Books, complete with recipes and historical photos, have arrived. The book was compiled by citizen Mary Wekkin. It is currently on sale for $24 at the Village Hall and Mudds 'N Sudds.

  • Approved non-recurring claims for February totaling $56,251.11 and also non-recurring claims from December 2011 totaling $1,620.08.
  • Approved replacing light fixtures at the public works garage at a cost not to exceed $1,863. Based on rebates and usage, the energy efficient fixtures will pay for themselves in three years or less.
  • Police Chief Mark Richert reported on the departments upgrades on the village website and also the introduction of the department's use of Facebook (see related story).
  • Moved the scheduled April 3 board meeting to Tuesday, March 27, because of the spring election on April 3.

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