Vince Netherland of Polk County Economic Development was on hand at Monday night's St. Croix Falls City Council meeting on Monday night to give a presentation on economic development measurements as it related to investing in the Civic Auditorium.
The agenda was rearranged and Netherland spoke prior to the discussion and vote to hold a referendum on the November ballot.
“The priority (of the economic development corporation) was originally to attract businesses here and improve the tax base,” noted Netherland. “The new priority is workers, so that businesses can grow.”
“The importance of the downtown to a community is that it is different than a corridor or suburb,” continued Netherland. “They won't be driving down Highway 8 and looking and thinking what a nice community this is, even though the businesses located there provide important products and services. Image is very important. The mix and diversity and the activities and functions are what make a downtown. A mix of retail, cultural opportunities like a community center, etc., and restaurants are the healthiest mix to have.
Monday night's meeting of the Milltown Village Board didn't cover a tremendous amount of business - it was a relaxed and rambling kind of meeting. By far the biggest news was announced by Milltown Public Library Director Bea Volgren who reported they received the entire maximum Community Development Block Grant allowed – a whopping $500,000.
Volgren also reported some great numbers, such as 87 in-house participants in the Summer Reading Program.
“For a town our size, that's really a lot,” she beamed. Volgren was also happy to report that her year-to-date program attendance topped out over 1,000 – at 1,099.
Milltown Chief of Police Shaun Thayer has found his footing in the community and reported he needs to purchase a new, more visible light bar. Village Clerk/Treasurer Amy Albrecht gave him kudos for his success in soliciting donations for Kids Night Out, which is next Tuesday, Aug. 21, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Milltown Community Center.
This year's extravaganza promises to be more exciting than ever, with the LifeLink helicopter landing in the softball field, along with other emergency services personnel with their fire truck, ambulance and squad car.
The Village of Milltown once again donated $500 to this big event, which features all kinds of games and prizes for the kiddos, along with a free picnic dinner.
Public Works Director Mike Nutter was a bit stressed with his leaking roof issue. He said the shop roof leaks in heavy rain and the contractor who installed wanted $13,000 to fix it.
“Otherwise he was willing to try and find the [bad] spots for $7,000,” Nutter said. The roof job had a 10-year warranty and was completed in 2013, but the contractor claims it isn't his fault. The roof is a flat one and evidently some pieces flew off of it during high winds in the past year or so.
Village President LuAnn White wondered if insurance would cover it and that was deemed worth a try.
“We have to do something because boards are falling off inside,” stated Nutter.
Trustee Glenn Owen commented that photos should be taken for documentation purposes.
White said she would think the roof would be covered if it was damaged by the wind.
On another note, Nutter played “show and tell,” with the trustees, demonstrating how slip lining works, more or less, which was frankly fascinating, how the polymer hardens and makes pipes like new.
St. Croix Falls senior Tyler Cooper has declared that he will be joining the Minnesota Golden Gophers as a guard on their offensive line.
At 6'4” and 295 pounds, Cooper received offers from Michigan, North Dakota State, South Dakota State as well as other universities. He was even talking to the Wisconsin Badgers at one point.
Cooper recently announced his decision after giving his answer to the Gopher coaching staff. He will be the 23 player of the Class of 2019.
The move seemed to be the best fit for Cooper. Both he and his family have been lifelong Gopher Fans, and he was born in Minnesota.
“It's always been a childhood dream of mine to play for the Gophers,” observed Cooper.
The decision wasn't all that easy. With offers poring in, he considered the pros and cons of each school. Cooper even traveled to Wyoming to check out their program, whose head coach is known for creating great offensive linemen.
“It was really nice, great facility, brand new,” said Tyler, but in his mind he was working out a decision that would affect the rest of his life. “It wasn't bothering me too much, but it was nice to pick a school and be done with it.”
As he plays his final season of his high school football career on the hallowed field below the esker, he will be transitioning from tackle to guard, which is where the Gophers will most likely use him.
Both parties held their primary elections on Tuesday and now Polk County knows who their next sheriff will be.
Brent Waak received 2,003 votes and Tony Grimm received 1,809.
Patrick McLafferty, who was running as a write-in candidate for the democratic party received 73 votes, short of the required amount which is at least five percent of the vote cast in the jurisdiction or district for the party's gubernatorial candidate at the last general election or the number of votes equivalent to the minimum number of signatures required on nomination papers for that office, whichever is more.
“I am humble to win,” stated Waak. “I so appreciate all the support we had during the campaign. I want to thank Tony Grimm for his approach to this race.”
In Grimm's concession statement he said: “It looks like we lost by a couple hundred votes. I think we had a fantastic campaign and our message was clear. Congrats to Brent Waak and his family for a fantastic campaign. We will support his agenda wholeheartedly.”