Meeting Watch RTSA

The St. Croix County Board of Supervisors met for its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night, Oct. 5

Here is what you need to know:

Supervisors approve $15/hour minimum wage for county employees

  • Supervisors approved a resolution to submit an application to the WDNR for a Lake Protection Grant to extend the County’s Lake St. Croix Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Civic Engagement Initiative through Dec. 31, 2024. The Initiative is part of the County’s Land & Water Resource Management Plan adopted in 2018 to address adverse impacts to Lake St. Croix from harmful pollutants identified by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. The matching grant could provide up to $200,000 and would be matched by an in-kind donation by the County’s Community Development Dept. as administrator of the grant and landowner contributions to pay for 30% of the installation costs to implement cover crops. The initiative employs education/outreach events such as nitrate screenings, the development of partnerships and the implementation of conservation practices to reduce pollutant loads into the lake.

  • St. Croix County Fair Association President Gail Maier presented the Fair Board’s 2020-2021 Annual Report. (St Croix County Fair Assoc. 2020-2021 Annual Report.pdf)

  • St. Croix County Director of Community Development Ellen Denzer presented the Community Development Department’s 2020 Annual Report (St Croix County Community Development Dept. 2020 Annual Report.pdf)

  • UW St. Croix County Extension Community Development Educator Kari Weiss presented the Extensions’ 2021 Annual Report (UW St Croix County Extension 2021 Annual Report.pdf) 

In an effort to make the county more competitive in the hiring of seasonal employees and other low-wage employees and to retain existing lower-wage employees, supervisors approved a resolution to update the County’s Wage Grid aligning the market rate to Step 8.(St Croix County 2022 Wage Grid.pdf) 

In lieu of being able to afford a Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) the county compensates by eliminating a step (wage) at the bottom of a particular pay grade and adding a step to the top of that wage scale. 

If an employee reaches the top step for a particular pay grade, they cannot receive an increase without a COLA or an adjustment to the whole grid. 

The resolution eliminates any step that provides for less than $15 per hour for any pay grade and adds steps 11-20 for Grades 40-42 (41 Park Specialist, Groundskeeper, Bailiff and 42 Highway Laborer). 

The change affects the wages of 48 existing county employees and seasonal Parks and Highway employees going forward. 

Supervisors approved the purchase of a reconditioned CT scanner 

County Medical Examiner Patty Schachtner authored an amendment to the 2021 County Budget, Capital Improvement Project to purchase a CT Scanner and building modifications to accommodate the scanner resulting in an increase of $17,816. 

Schachtner proposed to purchase a reconditioned CT scanner at a cost of $198,500 versus a new scanner at $500,000. The change eliminates the need for a grant, lowers the cost for the scanner by more than $300,000, but raises the remodeling costs for the building by $69,316 to $189,316.

Reconditioned CT scanners are scanners that have served their useful life scanning live individuals and can be recalibrated to scan deceased individuals to extend their usefulness. Reconditioned scanners are good for up to 3000 additional scans. 

Supervisors approved an amended total of $387,816 for the project.

Schachtner explained the ability to perform autopsies by scan as opposed to dissection greatly reduces the emotional trauma for loved ones and greatly increases the efficiency of an autopsy. Scans take 25 seconds. 

"We’re going to be going from human dissection to scanning that is less traumatic for families, less traumatic for staff and less traumatic for law enforcement. Unexpected deaths happen all the time and if it isn’t necessary, what would you want for your loved one?” asked Schachtner.

Tom Lindfors is a western Wisconsin freelance journalist and former Star-Observer reporter. Contact him at tom@lindforsphoto.com 

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