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After a year of volatility, St. Croix County's sales tax revenues for 2006 were close to the budgeted amount, reported Finance Director Michelle Pietrick last week. The county has received a total of $5,343,640 -- $82,173 more than projected -- for purchases made in 2006. The slight increase is a welcome relief for county finance officers, who are watching the monthly numbers closely as the Wisconsin Revenue Department struggles to find a computer system to accurately allocate sales tax revenue to local governments. In 2003, 57 counties were overpaid while others were shorted.
About 50 people joined an exercise last week to offer their suggestions for uses for county-owned land around the St. Croix County Government Center. Dennis Welsch, the consultant who hosted the Feb. 28 meeting, said 62 people attended. Most participated in a colored-dot exercise to show their preferred uses for quadrants of the land. The property is at the northwest corner of Carmichael Road (County Road A) and Vine Street (County Road UU) in Hudson.
St. Croix County employees who want to donate their unused paid time off to a co-worker whose infant son is receiving chemotherapy may soon get their wish. The county's Finance Committee voted last week to approve a PTO (paid time off) donation program to help employees who are on unpaid leave due to a life-threatening illness or injury. The policy will go to the full County Board for its action in March. Co-workers have scheduled a series of fundraisers and are looking for other ways to help the family of jailer David Dykes.
MADISON -- The governor told them the St. Croix Valley is at the center of what the state is trying to accomplish in economic development. But what local advocates hoped to accomplish last week was to put the area on legislators' maps and its needs on their agendas. The second annual United St. Croix Valley Legislative Days took over 40 of the region's business and education leaders to the state capital for two days. Going in teams of four or five, participants kept appointments with over 100 lawmakers or their aides to brief them on issues important to St.
St. Croix County provides its employees with "rich" health insurance benefits, and significantly more employees and dependants get treatment for conditions such as obesity and depression than would be expected, reported a consultant last week. Medical insurance costs have been a major obstacle during budget work for several years, and last Thursday the Finance Committee looked at the details. Sara Hames of Frank F.
The public is invited to an information meeting regarding possible future uses for parts of the 82-acre St. Croix County Government Center site in Hudson. The meeting -- which will be held 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28, in the County Board room of the Government Center in Hudson -- will be hosted by Barsness Consulting Services. The County Board hired Barsness Consulting last fall to develop a process that may lead to the sale of excess land around the Government Center.
In the four years since St. Croix County began taking real estate payments online, the amount paid that way has escalated, reports Treasurer Cheryl Slind. "It amazes me the number of people who will pay their taxes by credit card," said Slind.
As the St. Croix County Board prepares for its 2007 goal-setting session, the plan is to have fewer and more specific goals, said River Falls Supervisor Tom Caflisch. Caflisch briefed other supervisors on behalf of the Administration Committee during the January County Board meeting last week. In previous years supervisors have set as many as 15 goals.
Representatives of seven companies potentially interested in taking over St. Croix County's nursing home attended an information meeting this month. Health and Human Services Director Fred Johnson said only one business attended an earlier session. All the information requested or presented at those meetings plus other information potential applicants might want has been posted at the county's Web site, said Johnson. Proposals are due Feb. 15. In related business Tuesday, the County Board added five more members to the team that will review proposals.
A new state law that says police should record interviews with anyone arrested for a serious crime means more cost and more work, but Pierce and St. Croix county officers agree it's not all bad. "If we have it on tape, it's right out there for everybody to see," said St. Croix County Sheriff Dennis Hillstead. "It makes us better at our job and it can help eliminate those cases...