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After 27 years, Glenwood City and St. Croix County realized that the 1.06 acres of land where the Glenwood City recycling center sits was never legally transferred to the city. 

In 1996, the county transferred plots of land around the St. Croix fairgrounds to Glenwood City. It was 2023 when they realized they missed a spot. 

221 Water St. was officially transferred to Glenwood City on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at the St. Croix County Board of Supervisors meeting. 

Certified nursing assistants

The payscale of certified nursing assistants employed by the county has increased. 

A wage study was conducted on certified nursing assistants, finding that St. Croix was paying below market for talent. 

With a nationwide shortage of CNAs, staff recommended a competitive increase to attract applicants. 

The county’s health care campus has been contracting hundreds of thousands of dollars monthly to keep the facility running. 

The new pay increase is aimed at attracting applicants as well as increase the number of beds the center can fill, churning a profit. 

The fiscal impact is estimated at $62,232, including incremental benefit expenses.

Sheriff’s report

When asked what his top concerns moving into 2023 are, Sheriff Scott Knudson said “staffing.” 

Though very close to full staffed, only having six or seven open positions in the office, applications have been far and few for many of those positions. 

The sheriff is optimistic, though and it is one of the office’s goals in 2023 to become fully staffed in all bureaus. 

“Our retention has greatly improved,” he said. 

Supervisor Daniel Hansen asked Knudson about the status of fentanyl in the county. 

He said they have had 24 overdose investigations and a neighboring county recently had their first death linked to a fentanyl overdose due to laced marijuana. One of the major preventative measures the jail takes is training inmates on naloxone use -- an opioid overdose antidote. 

It’s controversial for some, Knudson said, but not for him. When inmates are released, they have the skills and knowledge to potentially save a life. 

“It’s that or we investigate deaths,” Knudson said. 

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, 2 milligrams of fentanyl is considered a potentially deadly dose – “the small amount that fits on the tip of a pencil.”

2.64 oz were recovered by the St. Croix Valley Drug Task Force in 2022, which includes law enforcement agencies from St. Croix, Polk and Pierce counties. 

That’s nearly 37,500 deadly doses of what the DEA claims to be ​​”the deadliest drug threat facing this country” and “50 times more potent than heroin.” 

This drug is another one of Knudson’s concerns for 2023. 

Quick hits

  • The St. Croix County meeting of the whole has been scheduled for Wednesday, April 12, 8:30 a.m. at the St. Croix County Government Center. This meeting invites department heads to present their projections for 2024 so that staff and the board can determine the 2024 financial priorities. The board will make final budget priority approvals in May. 

  • The board confirmed County Administrator Ken Witt’s appointment of Taylor Mabis facilities director. 

  • Interpreter services stipends have increased from $7 per hour to $8. These roles are for internal staff who are multilingual and offer to perform translation services for the county.

  • The St. Croix County Justice Support Services also provided a report. One of the highlights was the successes of the pretrial interventions, like treatment court, where as opposed to sentencing individuals to jail time for drug possession, the county offers an alternative, including substance abuse treatment. Not only have these programs been showing promise, providing support for those with substance abuse disorders, but also financially for the county. 

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