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North Hudson debates rules about discharging firearms

What started as a routine change in ordinance language turned into a debate regarding the village of North Hudson ordinance pertaining to the discharge of weapons. In the end, the ordinance changes failed on a 4-2 vote.

Village Trustee Ted Head said the proposed ordinance language was too restrictive.

“The law is too far reaching,” Head said. “Under the ordinance language, Nerf guns would be illegal.”

Head also brought up a scenario where kids using a sling shot to shoot at cans in a backyard would be illegal. North Hudson Police Chief Mark Richert agreed with Head’s analysis.

The proposed ordinance language reads: no person except an authorized police officer shall discharge any firearm, air or gas-propelled rifle or pistol, archery bow, archery arrows, slingshot or other article designed to propel any type of missile or projectile within the village…

The language “any type of missile or projectile” seemed to be the language that upset Head.

A second part of the ordinance language dealt with updating the “carrying concealed weapons” to comply with state laws. The board appeared to be supportive of those changes.

“I have issues with the first part (discharge of weapons) of the ordinance,” Head said.

The ordinance changes failed on a 4-2 vote. Voting against the proposed changes were trustees Head, Paul Rode, Daryl Standafer and President Stan Wekkin. Voting in favor of the ordinance changes were trustees Colleen O’Brien-Berglund and Rodrick Anderson. Trustee Marc Zappa was absent.

O’Brien-Berglund and Anderson are both members of the Public Safety Committee -- the committee that brought forward the ordinance proposals. Because of the failed vote, the ordinance goes back to the committee for potential revision.

Anderson, however, expressed concerns about more changes to the ordinance. He questioned whether it was the committee’s responsibility to pick and choose what types of weapons/projectiles/toys would be allowed in a new ordinance.

Park usage

The board also debated a request to allow use of Chief Jansen Memorial park by a private business before the posted opening time of 8:30 a.m.

North Hudson resident Krista Bergman represents Trumi, a firm that deals with health and nutrition.

Bergman requested use of the park for one hour each morning beginning at 6 a.m. to lead clients in an early morning exercise program.

“I’m not opposed,” Standafer said. “But as a matter of policy I’m uncomfortable with giving permission to a for-profit business to use the park in this manner.”

Village President Stan Wekkin said Bergman will include the village on her $1 million limited liability policy, but added that allowing a business into the park free of rent could set a precedent.

Trustee Paul Rode suggested the village open all parks at 6 a.m.

“That’s what they do in Hudson,” Rode said. “Problem solved.”

He suggested Bergman go to the Park Board and propose changing the hours. Currently Bergman is running her sessions in a Hudson park.

The board concluded that other for-profit businesses use the parks, including daycare centers, etc.

The board voted 6-0 to allow Bergman to use the park, beginning at 6 a.m., for up to six months (she said her sessions will be held at an indoor location during cold weather months).

Other issues

--The board approved a proclamation naming July 12-20 as St. Croix River Awareness and Cleanup Week. A clean-up session is planned July 15 from 9 a.m. to noon during the St. Croix Riverfest.

--Approved a temporary class B alcohol license for the North Hudson Pepper Festival, scheduled Aug. 15-17 (The license is good Aug. 14-18).

--Approved minor language changes in ordinances regarding building materials, building codes and dwelling codes. The changes reflect minor changes in state codes.

--Approved an extended the premises for Kozy Korner during its sixth anniversary celebration on July 19. With certain conditions, the business is allowed to use part of an outdoor parking lot.

--Approved non-recurring claims for June in the amount of $32,146.06.

--Approved several Public Works projects involving North Hudson streets. The board approved an expenditure of $22,355 (Scot Construction Co., Lake Delton) for crack filling on 31 streets; approved $10,594 (Perfection Paving Co., Bloomer) for hot patch on 29 streets; and approved up to $45,000 (Fahrner Asphalt Sealers, Plover) for seal coating on seven streets (various sections of Sommers, Lemon, 10th and Lund streets north).

--Did not approve $285 for direction signs to Chief Jansen Memorial Park. The Park Board proposal actually died in the Finance Committee meeting where there was a lack of a motion.

Doug Stohlberg

Doug Stohlberg has been part of the Hudson Star-Observer since 1973 and has been editor since 1987. He worked at the New Richmond News from 1971 to 1973. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota.

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