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BALDWIN -- The technology-related business sector in west central Wisconsin has seen a steady, though not phenomenal, growth. But the communities need to work together to develop and maximize talent and investment capital, advised a consultant last week. "I heard more about what divides you than what connects you," said Jerry Paytas of GPS Consulting. He said the cities and nine counties in the corridor must develop a regional orientation.
The Hudson area will apparently have at least two new representatives on the St. Croix County Board come April. Peter Post, 1718 Laurel Ave., and Steven Hermsen, 813 Harbor View Road, are candidates, respectively, for the District 20 seat now held by Ronald Troyer and the District 26 seat now held by Don Jordan. Neither Troyer nor Jordan is seeking re-election. District 20 represents Hudson's Wards 1, 6, 7 and 9.
St. Croix County Judge Edward Vlack has assessed sanctions against an Eau Claire attorney for filing a frivolous claim that Woodville violated its police chief's constitutional rights when it fired him. Harry R. Hertel of the law firm of Hertel & Gibbs was ordered to pay $3,263 to cover the Woodville Police Review Board's costs in fighting the suit over the firing of Kevin Sheridan in September 2006. The Sheridan lawsuit, filed in St. Croix County Court Oct. 5, 2006, was dismissed March 22, 2007.
St. Croix County supervisors rethought an earlier decision and agreed last week to add another lawyer to the corporation counsel's office. Child Support Administrator Katie Kapaun urged the addition, saying her office needs more legal help to keep up with its caseload, which has increased 13 percent in the last two years. County judges now devote eight hours a month to child support collections.
After failing to reach a consensus on two new proposals from private businesses, St. Croix County supervisors voted Tuesday to get estimates on the cost of building a new county-owned nursing home and an assisted living facility. Those numbers are expected to be presented to the board Jan. 15. The county provides tax levy support for the nursing home, which is located in New Richmond.
Adding a fourth circuit judge in St. Croix County means adding a fourth court -- complete with staff and equipment. Current judges met with the County Board Finance Committee last week to assure the county is on track to furnish chambers and hire a judicial assistant before the fourth judge is seated Aug. 1. The plan is to have a new judicial assistant in the office by July 1 to get the judge's office and calendar organized, said Judge Scott Needham.
Without more help from an attorney, the St. Croix County child support office will fall farther behind, will not meet its benchmarks and will be financially penalized by the state, said Child Support Administrator Katie Kapaun. She met with Finance Committee members last week to ask for their support at the County Board level. Corporation Counsel Greg Timmerman's office now has two lawyers -- himself and an assistant.
"Everybody wants the big beautiful house that everybody adores' --County Treasurer Cheryl Slind. The amount of delinquent property taxes in St. Croix County took a significant jump this year, reports Treasurer Cheryl Slind. The county's delinquent taxes show a 34 percent increase over last year. A five-year history indicates that's the biggest increase in that time. In neighboring Pierce County, delinquent taxes are up too, but not as much, according to Pierce County Treasurer Phyllis Beastrom.
If Wisconsin lawmakers and citizens learned anything from the last budget process, it's that it must be changed, said Sen.
As state budget caps filtered in, were corrected and then changed, St. Croix County administrators and Finance Committee members did a series of do-overs on their 2008 budget. Then late last week, Gov. Jim Doyle used his partial veto power to increase the local tax levy cap to 3.86 percent, throwing another twist into the mix. A Finance Committee meeting was set for 8:30 a.m. Oct. 31 to discuss that latest development. The 2008 budget -- which includes 20 new or expanded jobs and takes $3 million from account balances -- will be presented to the full County Board for adoption Nov.