Sometimes, a person could spend their whole lives searching for a sense of community. Looking for a place they belong, that they can call and consider their home.
Small communities like the ones located throughout Polk County are called home by the thousands. While whole towns can be considered a community, there are smaller neighborhoods within some villages and cities that are very close knit.
Case in point, the Rock Pile in St. Croix Falls located off from Hamilton Street down by the St. Croix River.
The Rock Pile consists of 10 separate, privately owned residences. Nearly every homeowner was present at the St. Croix Falls Plan Commission meeting on Monday for a public hearing for a conditional use permit for 1035 N. Hamilton Street to allow for short term rental.
The City does not have an ordinance defining exactly what a short term rental is. However, in the proposal put forward by the owners of the recently purchased property, Frank and Debora Dusenka, is to operate a short term rental, upscale housing for up to six guests, parking for five vehicles. The owners would also be personally using the property.
The first Rock Pile resident to speak to the matter was Terry McCune. She noted that the neighborhood at one point had an Association that was started about 50 years ago and it had been abandoned. It was started in 1967 and dissolved about 10 years later. While not currently incorporated, the Association still operates as it has over the past decades. They meet at least on an annual basis and expenses of the common area such as the tax bill is split evenly among the 10 residences.
The Big Butternut Lake Dam Detour is done. That is, it is usable to residents. It is a crap shoot however, which way into town is worse for one's vehicle with all the potholes and puddles.
Luck Village President Dave Rasmussen reported to village trustees at their meeting last Wednesday (March 13) that he had attended the county's Environmental Services (ES) Committee meeting that morning.
“The update on the Big Butternut Dam Project was on their agenda. I didn't know this, but at their Feb. 6 meeting they passed a resolution to cost share with the village on the dam. Later in the meeting they rescinded that resolution. Also on the Feb. 27 meeting agenda for the ES Committee, the resolution did come up again and I don't know what happened, but I don't think they took any action.”
[That is, in fact, the case. The issue of cost sharing with Luck on the dam was dealt with in closed session by the ES Committee, but no action was taken and the issue was again delayed.]
Rasmussen told the board that he presented to the ES Committee a chronological report of events since June of last year.
“I basically presented our case but there was no action taken today – but I felt that they at least listened and there was an opportunity that we can probably work out something.”
Rasmussen indicated that he, personally, felt optimistic about possible cost-sharing, but conceded that he didn't know the county's feelings on the subject matter.
“They were pretty receptive,” he said. “So I am hoping that something can be structured between the village and the county going forward.”
MSA's Teresa Anderson was up next. It was time to make some payments.
“When the DNR permitted the dam project, one of the conditions was having some way of knowing that the backfill around the culvert happened appropriately. You can do that with nuclear testing – or you can assume that if you actually use the methodology correctly with six-inch lifts and mechanical compaction, then it is assumed if you did it correctly, your result is correct also and you don't have to test it later.
There is a fun tradition at the Luck School District. Every year the faculty challenges graduating seniors to a “friendly” game of basketball.
If a person were to enter the doors to the nest that the Senior Cardinals have called home for the past four years, who would they place their money on?
As the old adage goes: “Old age and treachery will beat youth and enthusiasm every time...”
Such was the case on Monday as the Luck seniors faced off against some of the teachers they have had during their academic careers.
They were about to be schooled one last time.
It was all in good fun as two rising stars on the boys basketball team officiated Carsen Eley and Gage Johansen.
The rules were loosely adhered to, after all, it was a game about having a little bit of fun and bolstering the competitive spirit of the seniors who will likely be flying away from Luck to see what the big wide world has to offer them.
However, one of the most important lessons to learn in this life is humility. And it was a lesson that the faculty made sure the seniors would learn before the game was over.
The older generation dominated their counterparts. They were a lot faster than one would expect and they were crafty. There was more than one foul in the game. Come to think of it maybe the officials had it in mind that they may have another year or two under the yoke of the public education system and decided not to see a few things. Just saying.
All in good fun.
It wouldn't have mattered too much any way as the score demonstrated. It was a blistering defeat for these Cardinal seniors with score of: 61-37, Faculty.
Strong solidarity to “Save Calm Dam”
By Lynda Berg Olds
The county boardroom was bursting at the seams Tuesday night as Clam Falls residents and neighbors flocked together in solidarity to save the Clam Falls Dam. Northwestern Wisconsin Electric's Dave Dahlberg was on the Polk County Board of Supervisors agenda to present a proposal to transfer the Clam Falls Dam's ownership to Polk County. The presentation was preceded by several passionate public comments. Some excerpts follow:
Tom Broody, of New World Energy, spoke first.
“We would like to see the dam be saved – and to do that we are willing to donate $650,000 as an endowment to keep the dam maintained by (Polk) the county. It is not large enough to be a viable energy producer. However, we are dam people and we think it is important for it to stay there for the community to enjoy as it has been a part of the community for many years.”
Broody said for this to happen, there is a three-question matrix, the first of which is, “Will the county accept ownership of the dam if the DNR allows - and a study can be done by an engineering firm that proves the stability of the dam can accept the 500-year flood over-topping it;
“And then, if that is possible, if that is a 'yes' to that question, then will the DNR grant an exception to allow this dam to stay in place.”
Broody stressed that if the answer to any part of the three-part question is 'no,' then the dam will be torn out. If all three answers are 'yes,' the county would end up with ownership of the dam – and an endowment of $650,000 to maintain the dam in perpetuity. He also noted that there is a website called, “Save Clam Falls Flowage” where supervisors (or anyone else) can find further information – and can add their names to the petition, which had been signed by 367 individuals as of Monday.