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Pierce County government will first look to its own building and equipment needs to determine if it wants to use any of its $1.7 million Stimulus Act bond allocation. The Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds, which are attractive because the federal government will pay 45 percent of interest costs, can be used either by the county or passed on to its municipalities. In January 2008, Pierce County borrowed nearly $4 million to tackle a list of over 40 building and equipment projects.
When it comes to dignitaries, Pierce County Board Chairman Paul Barkla, River Falls, dreams big. Wouldn't it be great, he thought, if President Obama visited Wisconsin Farm Technology Days when Pierce County hosts the event July 20-22, 2010. While Farm Technology Days may be small potatoes compared to the Copenhagen climate summit, it's a major event in the agricultural world. So with a little push from fellow Supervisor Greg Place, Barkla, a lifelong Democrat who remembers going door-to-door campaigning for Franklin D.
Pierce and St. Croix counties are beginning the process to allow private companies to access low-interest loans under federal economic stimulus legislation. "We see this as an opportunity," said Bill Rubin, executive director of the St. Croix County Economic Development Corporation. "Ultimately it's $5 million that can be brought into the county," agreed St.
ELMWOOD--When Joanne Baier retires at the end of the year, her job will also be retired. It's time, said Baier, to end her career as Pierce County's first and only county librarian, and for the job itself to end. Library Clerk Dawn Wood, who has been with the program since 1984, will continue the Books-By-Mail service. "I accomplished all the goals that we set out (to accomplish)," said Baier during an interview at the Pierce County Library Service's office in Elmwood on the eastern edge of the county. Baier graduated from UW-River Falls with a degree in library science in 1969, and worked
Nearly 30 years after she died, a River Falls woman's death certificate may be changed to identify cause of death as "homicide" rather than "accident." At the request of her family, Judge Robert Wing signed an order Nov. 13 adding the word "intentional" to a description of the 410-gauge shotgun discharge that took the life of Lila Margaret Clay, 28. The order to amend has been sent to the state Bureau of Vital Statistics. Lila Clay died Jan. 16, 1980, in her home at 309 N.
Authorities have been notified Pierce County will get the first of what they hope will be three grants to pay for Aug. 13 flash flood damage. The grant of up to $392,000 will help repair homes and public facilities such as roads and culverts, said Gary Brown, the county's emergency management director. Following August rains, the county board issued a disaster proclamation for a large part of the county from Ellsworth to the east edge of the county.
In a way, preparation of Pierce County's 2010 budget was simpler than some years. With a state-mandated levy limit, union raises already set, higher health insurance costs and an increase in the county's contribution to employee retirement accounts, there was little left to divvy up. "How many nickels and dimes can you really argue about?" summarized County Board Chairman Paul Barkla Thursday.
Pierce County Board members will vote next month on whether to give themselves or future board members a raise next spring. The proposal to increase regular pay for committee meetings from $35 to $47 and for county board meetings from $50 to $70 was introduced and discussed briefly at Tuesday's board meeting. Chairman Paul Barkla, noting board pay hasn't been raised in 12 years, said the suggestion to increase came from Supervisor Rich Purdy, Town of River Falls, who was not at the meeting. Barkla said Purdy recommended tying the board increase to the percentage increases negotiated for emp
Because of funding shortages and anticipated need from more families, Pierce County economic support workers are warning clients to expect less home heating help this season. The human services department takes applications for four types of heating and utility aid: heating assistance, electricity assistance available to some users, crisis assistance and furnace assistance. The Wisconsin Division of Energy Services warned in September there will be a funding shortage for the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program, both because funding is limited and because WHEAP applications are expected
By the end of the year, Pierce County expects to join a growing number of counties that offer their residents discount cards for prescription drugs. People who use the cards, which will be free to all county residents, can save an average of 22 percent of the retail cost of prescription drugs, claims the National Association of Counties. Those who can benefit include people in the Medicare Part D coverage gap dubbed "the donut hole," people with no medical insurance and others with high out-of-pocket medicine costs, said Kathy Hass, manager of the county's Aging and Disabilities Resource Cen