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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.
Although votes weren't expected until Tuesday, members of both parties seemed fairly satisfied with a state budget agreement announced last Friday. "We have achieved a workable compromise that Wisconsin families can afford," said Rep. Kitty Rhoades, R-Hudson, taking a short break from a conference committee meeting Monday afternoon. In a press release sent out Friday evening, Gov.
Extra county-owned land around the St. Croix County Government Center might come in handy as maintenance people look at systems to replace a 15-year-old heating and cooling plant that has become expensive to maintain. A consultant is recommending replacing the system with either a geothermal plant using a 2 1/2 acre field of wells or a thermal storage chilled-water system using outdoor chillers. The Government Center is currently heated and cooled by a standard efficiency boiler and two gas-fired Trane ThermaChill absorbers. Bob Linder of Karges-Faulconbridge Inc.
A woman who faced losing a house bought with money inherited from her mother redeemed the St. Croix County property last Thursday. Diana Demos said she didn't know the taxes were still delinquent and that the county intended to sell the town of St. Joseph property until after it was advertised for sale. She said she lived in the house with her husband until their marriage fell apart.
The co-chair of the Wisconsin Legislature's Joint Committee on Finance is less than optimistic that the governor's plan to call the full Legislature into session today will solve the state's budget stalemate. Seven days ago, Gov. Jim Doyle announced he would call a special session Oct. 15 on a "compromise budget bill." But, said Rep. Kitty Rhoades, R-Hudson, Republicans had already offered a bill that was a true compromise and they haven't seen Doyle's new bill. "We go in Monday for a bill we haven't seen. We don't have it," said Rhoades Friday afternoon.
A business couldn't find a better place to do business, advised a successful serial entrepreneur and pioneer in the loyalty marketing field, speaking at the I-Q Corridor Investors' Symposium at UW-River Falls last week. In terms of pragmatism, people and potential, companies couldn't choose a better home base than the upper Midwest -- in particular Wisconsin and Minnesota, said Mark Lacek. This first-time I-Q Corridor symposium -- organized by the Wisconsin Technology Council -- brought together potential investors, entrepreneurs, higher education representatives and economic development gro