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Tourist information center demolished; city gets garage and shelter

The tourist information center located on the south side of Interstate 94 in Hudson stands partially demolished Monday morning. It was leveled soon after. The property is being developed for commercial use.1 / 2
The racks inside the tourist information center still hold booklets on places in Wisconsin as the building is being demolished Monday morning. The state closed the center in 2009, citing low visitor numbers.2 / 2

The state tourist information center that stood along Interstate 94 in Hudson for many years was demolished on Monday.

The excavation of the 16 acres on which the tourist center stood will begin soon, said David Robson, a partner in the development group that bought the land from the state for $1.25 million.

Robson said the laying of water and sewer mains will follow, along with street construction.

"As soon as that is done, we'll start selling and leasing parcels," he said, adding that nothing has been finalized on that score.

The city is still debating possible changes to Gateway Boulevard north of Crest View Drive that would take place in conjunction with the commercial development of the land.

The Plan Commission held a public hearing on one proposal to install a median barrier between the north- and southbound traffic lanes. The owners of the Taco Bell restaurant at the northwest corner of Gateway and Crest View reportedly objected to the proposal, which would prevent motorists from making a left turn into their property.

Others have suggested making Gateway a one-way street north of Crest View, requiring motorists to drive through the new commercial development and return to Crest View at the Walmart Store.

The state closed the tourist information center in 2009, citing low visitor numbers. It has since converted two rest areas at Menomonie into Wisconsin Welcome Centers.

City gets garage, shelter

The Hudson City Council on March 25 accepted an offer from Robson's development group to donate a garage and a picnic shelter that were located on the former tourist center property.

The plan is to place the shelter at Prospect Park and relocate the two-vehicle garage to Grandview Park. The garage will be used to store park maintenance equipment.

Alderperson Randy Morrissette II wanted to know if the garage is worth the estimated $1,600 it will cost to move it, and the $3,000 for a cement slab to place it on.

"It's state-built. I'm willing to bet it was done pretty well," Alderperson Kurt TeWinkel offered.

The council discussed where to place the garage at Grandview Park. It was reported that the Park Board's preferred location was on Water Utility property at the end of a paved driveway.

Enough 15-minute parking

The council turned down a request for two 15-minute parking spaces on Locust Street west of Second Street. David Brandner, owner of the new Freestyle Yogurt shop, made the request.

The Public Safety Committee recommended denying it. Committee chairperson Mary Yacoub said there are already four 10-minute parking spaces, two 15-minute parking spaces and two 15-minute loading zones in the downtown.

She said the city gets a lot of requests for short-term parking spaces from businesses, and can't grant all of them.

Committee member Rich Vanselow said the customers of other businesses need to park for longer periods, and creating more 15-minute spaces gives them fewer options.

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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