Mayor Rich O’Connor proclaimed October 2022 Manufacturing Month in the city of Hudson at the Monday, Oct. 17, Common Council meeting. His proclamation comes after a series of recognitions from the St. Croix County Economic Development Corporation who recognized SDMC America Technology Inc. in River Falls and SMC Ltd. in Somerset as part of National Manufacturing Day over the last few weeks.
In July, the council approved adjusting the agreement for the St. Croix Meadows development, at the site of the old dog track, to remove Lift Bridge Brewery and approved its own agreement. In lieu of those changes, a few other things shifted that the council approved.
“What this agreement does is it basically funds the additional costs for some of the road and utility improvements,” Community Development Director Mike Johnson said.
One of the highlights Johnson provided to the council was that the initial infrastructure costs for the project came out to $1 million more than expected, so as to factor that into the overall financing of the project.
In the updates a revised layout was included, depicting a 7-acre park parcel, about 49 single family housing units, two existing commercial lots and the baseball stadium.
The idea, Johnson said, is that the city would buy back the park sometime around January 2024, should the rest of the development pan out as anticipated.
There is a lot to come before then.
City Administrator Aaron Reeves nodded his head as Alderperson Randy Morrissette II requested staff and Plan Commission start thinking about installing the stop lights planned for the development at the intersections of Carmichael Road and the new streets. He anticipates traffic will begin to pick up in those areas as development begins.
Ethics code revisions
“I know we’ve spent time talking on this. I know we got expert opinions on this, and I appreciate the conversations we’ve had… I’d like to say I feel like we are falling short on this,” Alderperson Sarah Bruch said. “I’m disappointed, and I won’t be able to support this.”
After months of work and discussion, the Common Council voted to adopt some revisions to its ethics code, Bruch being the only “nay” vote.
Alderperson Joyce Hall faced an ethics code violation accusation in December 2021 and was subsequently asked by her peers on the council to apologize. Her case was followed by a complaint about Hudson Mayor Rich O’Connor, council member Randy Morrissette II, City Attorney Nick Vivian and Reeves, which was dismissed.
Since then, a wide, deep and thought-provoking discussion about the future of the ethics code has taken up plenty of time and air space in the council chambers.
To most on the council, the approval of these revisions was a success. For one, it didn’t go far enough.
One of the primary needs was a form for those wishing to file a complaint. One was created and is an option to use. A sworn complaint in a format other than what is provided by the city also will be accepted.
The code now specifies that public hearings and other meetings of the ethics committee and council under the ethics code will be open to the public “unless an exception is authorized under the Wisconsin Open Meeting Law.”
Three-hour free parking at the downtown parking meters and issuance of courtesy tickets from 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022 until 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 2, 2023 was approved.
Council approved the purchase of two parking meter units at the new Lakefront Park Boat Launch to streamline revenue collection and identify violations in a more efficient manner. The parking meters will be the same units as the one installed downtown, with parking enforcement monitoring the lot for violators.
Public Works and police have been notified by local residents of cars being parked along the north side of Mayer Road that impedes westbound traffic and makes cars swerve into oncoming traffic. Council approved the installation of no parking signs estimated at $400.