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School and city officials discuss County UU property

City and school officials discuss the feasibility of extending sewer and water to a County UU site in the town of Hudson. The group includes, clockwise from left, Water Utility Director Tim Caruso, City Council President Rich Vanselow, Mayor Alan Burchill, City Administrator Devin Willi, Community Development Director Dennis Darnold, School Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten, School Board President Tom Holland and School Finance Director Tim Erickson.

School district and city officials met last Friday afternoon, April 12, to discuss the feasibility of extending city water and sewer service to about 80 acres of property the district owns on County UU in the town of Hudson.

School Board President Tom Holland said the district is exploring five options for dealing with middle and high school overcrowding, and needs to know if the County UU property should remain in consideration as a site for a new school.

"Is this something the city wants to pursue? If not, then we'll move on," Holland said.

During the debate over whether the city should rezone the St. Croix Meadows Greyhound Racing Park property for school use, some city officials suggested that extending water and sewer to the UU site is a possibility.

Last Friday, Community Development Director Dennis Darnold outlined a number of obstacles to doing so.

Because the property is outside of the city boundaries, the city is prohibited from extending utility service to it unless there is a change in the current Municipal Code, Darnold said.

He said the town of Hudson and St. Croix County also would have to give approval to the utility extensions. In addition, a study would be needed to determine if it is technically feasible to bring city water and sewer service to the property.

A further consideration would be the capacity of the city's wastewater treatment plant, Darnold said. If development begins to pick up again, the city could be faced with limited sewage treatment capacity in a few year, he indicated.

Hudson Mayor Alan Burchill wanted to know how large of a school might be built on the UU site.

"There's more questions than answers, to be perfectly honest" about the type and size of school that will be proposed, at this point, Holland replied. He said the largest school that is an option is the same size as the one that was planned for the dog track -- capacity for 2,000 students, with the ability to expand to 2,500 students.

Burchill and City Council President Rich Vanselow indicated that they are willing to consider bringing city services to the UU property.

It was agreed that they would approach the full City Council to see if there is support for it there.

An engineering study will be needed to determine the feasibility of extending services if the council and school board decide to move forward. The two bodies will also need to come to an agreement on paying for the study.

Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten and Finance Services Director Tim Erickson from the school district and City Water Utility Director Tim Caruso also participated in the meeting.

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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