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Highway funding one step away from being official

Monday's Pierce County Finance and Personnel Committee meeting was quite busy, as the committee approved a multitude of items.

Among them were:

--Borrowing no more than $7 million for highway projects. The committee approved this request during the Oct. 9 meeting, but didn't do it in a resolution form, which they did Monday. Administrative Coordinator Jo Ann Miller said, for a $200,000 home, taxpayers will now be paying an extra $52 over the next 10 years. The borrowing will be done over the next three years, but the county has 10 years to pay the deficit back. Miller estimated the interest rate to be around 1.7 percent during the life span. The request goes to the full county board for approval.

--Restructuring of the human services department. New Human Services Director Ronald Schmidt requested the child support and economic support have their own department heads for 2013, stating one supervisor for 14 full-time people is too many. Schmidt told them the department has the funds to cover the change. The committee approved the request with the provision to eliminate the position in a year's time if there is a lack of funds.

--By a 4-2 vote, having the public health department act as agent for the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection in administering retail food licenses. Public Health Director Sue Galoff told the committee the switch would only affect one position and it would be an increase of five hours per week to cover the added work. Committee Chairman Jeff Holst expressed his displeasure, asking why the county should do the work for the state. Galoff replied the state doesn't have enough inspectors to keep up with the demand. The increase would go into effect on June 1, 2013, to coincide with the state budget. The committee threw in the provision of reviewing the request at the end of 2013. Holst and Mel Pittman were supervisors voting no.

For more please read the Nov. 7 print version of the Herald

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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