St. Croix Falls city officials have many concerns for the commercial areas between 220th Street and Glacier Drive that are north of Highway 8.
With movie theaters, a supermarket, a financial institution, multiple restaurants and other buildings within that district, high amounts of traffic go through the area daily.
In addition, with other land parcels still open for development there near the highway, city officials are interested in improving access to all lots while also easing congestion on Glacier Drive that separates those lots from Walmart and other properties to the east.
Tasked with designing a potential frontage road that could be built and maintained by the city, engineer Jon Herdegen from MSA Professional Services brought some drawings to St. Croix Falls planning commissioners at their meeting March 19.
Through a first phase for a possible frontage road project, MSA has proposed the city could establish a street going west from Glacier between the Subway and Dairy Queen restaurant lots.
Traffic commonly may turn there off of Glacier to visit the Falls Cinema theaters or other businesses, but it is not as of yet a city street. Mayor Brian Blesi said Monday that many citizens have expressed concern over the city not fixing potholes in that area; road maintenance there is out of the city’s jurisdiction, he repeated.
A proposed frontage road could curve north and to the west of the cinema and Tractor Supply parking lot and then west toward 220th Street along the back wall of the supermarket. Herdegen said the city could also extend a frontage road south toward Highway 8 between the supermarket and bank parking lots. Like the drive between Subway and Dairy Queen, that exit point onto westbound Highway 8 is not now an official city street.
Thursday morning marked the fourth year of tapping the maple trees on Park Avenue in Luck, a joint effort of the Morley’s (of Morley’s Maple Syrup fame) and Luck students. There weren’t as many students participating this year, which High School Principal Brad Werner said was because Educator Renee Gavinski was out with the flu, so her class wasn’t present either.
John Morley Jr. was also otherwise engaged, so his father, John Morley Sr. was the head man with the plan (helped out by Kevin, Roger and Peg, et al).
The senior Morley graciously answered several questions and the photo op quickly turned into a lesson. For starters, since this was year four, before any of the trees were tapped this year – the three prior tap locations on the tree had to be located. This is because the next tap is required to be a good-sized hand span from each of the prior three taps. The whole idea is to properly preserve and protect the tree for future sap harvesting.
Members of the Lakeland West Conference have selected and named their all-conference players from the 2017-2018 boys and girls basketball seasons.
The announcements come after a season in which the St. Croix Falls Saints girls swept their conference schedule with a perfect 12-0 record.
The Unity Eagle girls took their only conference losses of the season to St. Croix Falls, and Unity finished 10-2 in the league.
Lower in the Lakeland West standings, the Frederic and Grantsburg teams both finished at .500 with 6-6 conference records followed by the Siren Dragons at 5-7. The Luck Cardinals finished 2-10 for the conference season, followed by the Webster Tigers at 1-11.
Among boys teams in the conference, Grantsburg and Webster tied with records of 10-2 to lead the league. Those teams each won on their home court against the other during the regular season, but then Webster won a regional final at Grantsburg on March 3 before losing to state tournament team Clear Lake.
There’s a whole lot of change going on in the Government Center of Polk County, with the abrupt exit of County Administrator Dana Frey leading the pack. He often warned that there would be an exodus with many key staffers reaching retirement age Community (Health) Services Director Gretchen Sampson is a case in point (see separate article), as is Chief Deputy Wes Revels. Another recent loss in the county was Forest Administrator Jeremy Koslowski.
At Tuesday night’s meeting of the Polk County Board of Supervisors, Chair Dean Johansen spoke a bit about Frey’s retirement. First, he gave kudos to “seasoned reporters Lynda Berg Olds and Greg Westigaard” for their recent articles about Dana Frey and the exemplary work he did. He went on to say, “I think everybody can agree that it was truly remarkable what Dana did for this county’s fiscal situation…for one thing, we got the right man for the right job for the right time – there’s no question about it. The legacy that he left this county is truly remarkable. It will be hard to improve, especially when it comes to the budget, but he said he couldn’t have done it without the staff we have here.
SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT GUIDE IN THIS WEEK'S PAPER
Unidentified Bones Update
An initial report has been given to the Sheriff's Department from the University of North Texas Center of Human identification Forensic Anthropology Unit in reference the bones recovered on Dec. 3, 2017 south of Barron.
A profile has been built and the bones are likely from a white or possibly Asian male between the age of 35-55 about 5'8 + or -4 inches. The subject also has a gunshot wound to the head area.
The next steps, over the next couple of months, will be to find and remove DNA and upload that information to the Unidentified Humans Remains index and the CODIS Missing Person Data Base. This will be completed by this same unit in Texas.
At this time we have no missing person cases in the county and will wait for results to come back from the DNA analysis.