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Saturday, a Pierce County sportsman's club accepted a man's challenge to preserve and protect 141 acres and the mile-long stretch of trout stream that flows through it. About 150 people gathered at noon to celebrate the donation from the estate of Herbert P. Koch, formerly of Hastings, Minn., to the Eau Galle-Rush River Sportsman's Club. "We just feel it's the most beautiful land we could possibly be in," said Koch's niece, Patty Stoneberg, Hastings.
More taxes aren't the answer. Spending must be cut, say local lawmakers as the Legislature and Gov. Jim Doyle's administration tackle a biennial budget deficit projected at $652 million. Since last week, Wisconsin legislative leaders and Doyle's administration have started discussions on three disparate proposals to solve the shortfall. In early March the Department of Administration announced an expected biennium shortfall due to lower than estimated tax revenues.
The Pierce County Finance and Personnel Committee is recommending 2.5 percent increases for three elected officials for each of the four years of their new terms. The county clerk, treasurer and register of deeds positions are up for election this fall. New terms will start Jan. 1, 2009. The current salary for each of the jobs is $50,121.
A UW-River Falls student and the UW-RF veterans service officer is Pierce County's new veterans service officer. David R. Till, a sergeant first class in the Wisconsin Army National Guard, will start work in Ellsworth Monday. He has been working on a business/ engineering degree at UW-RF and has been the university's VSO since 2006. Till graduated from Hill-Murray High School in 1995, studied manufacturing engineering at UW-Stout from 1996 to 1998 and completed a primary leadership development course at Ft.
A regional builders' association has filed lawsuits against a town in Pierce County and a town in St. Croix County, claiming the municipalities' impact fees are illegal. The suits ask for refunds totaling over $600,000. The complaints allege the ordinances place an unequal burden for improvements on new development and have thus injured the business of association members and diminished the value of their properties. The St. Croix Valley Home Builders Association, 1477 S. Knowles Ave., New Richmond, filed lawsuits against the Town of St.
About 40 local people traveled to Madison last week in hopes of fostering legislative support for projects and programs that would benefit Western Wisconsin. Representatives of business, industry, education and local government from St. Croix, Pierce and Polk counties took part in the third annual United St. Croix Valley Legislative Days held Wednesday and Thursday. Michael Morgan, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration, spoke to the group at a breakfast meeting Thursday.
In a meeting that lasted only 20 minutes, the Pierce County Board voted last week to give 2.5 percent raises to non-union employees and approved amendments to the county's manure storage law. The raises, which are retroactive to Jan. 1, will go to about 50 workers. The group includes department heads and managers, but not elected officials or the county's administrative coordinator.
Helen and Wilbur Falkenthal still shudder at what could have happened on a hot August day last year when their five-year-old autistic granddaughter wandered away from home. The little girl rode her bicycle three blocks to a New Richmond park, where searchers found her bike with the helmet hanging on the handle bar.
A request for rezoning to allow the construction of a mini-storage facility in the Town of Oak Grove turned controversial Tuesday as a Pierce County Board member challenged the plan. Both the Oak Grove Town Board and the county's Land Management Committee had endorsed Morris Holst's request to rezone 10.76 acres in Oak Grove from General Rural Flexible to Light Industrial. "This is out in the middle of nowhere," protested Supervisor Rich Purdy, who lives in the Town of River Falls.
Pierce County supervisors voted last week to ask for extra federal money to help replace the old salt-damaged bridge on CTH F in the area commonly known as Clifton Hollow. The two-lane bridge, which crosses the nearly 200-foot deep Kinnickinnic River valley gorge, has grades of 10 percent on both approaches. Tight curves on the road leading to the bridge also pose challenges to drivers, especially during bad weather, according to the county board resolution adopted Tuesday. Federal funding is in place to pay 80 percent of approved replacement costs for the existing 156-foot bridge.