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By Cara L. Dempski
HUDSON – The St. Croix County Board of Supervisors discussed what to prioritize for the 2022 budget during part of its May 4 meeting. Some supervisors felt there should not be a focus on prioritizing benefits and pay for county employees, but the focus should instead be on providing better services for residents. Several supervisors spoke up to point out having excellent benefits and pay helps the county maintain excellent employees, who consistently provide good service to residents.
The discussion occurred close to the end of the meeting, but earlier in the meeting several County residents spoke about mask mandates and requirements, and were followed by Public Health’s Ellie Klasen who updated the Board on virus activity and vaccine efforts in the county. She said November 2020 saw the county’s highest peak, and said things have been trending down since then until the first week in March; then reported St. Croix County is currently seeing a seven-day rolling average of 30 new cases per day. Klasen also said public health staff are still contacting new cases by telephone and doing follow-up communication with people in close contact with new cases. She reported St. Croix County is one of the few in the state currently ranked as having very high case activity. She said 3-4 weeks ago it was the only county in the state with very high case activity.
Klasen indicated Public Health has seen a decline in case activity among older adults since vaccinations started. According to the information she presented, 80 percent of the population of the county aged 65 and older is fully vaccinated.
Prior to Public Health’s report, Judge Scott Needham recognized Community Justice Collaborating Counsel, or “CJCC” coordinator Mike O’Keefe for his service with the program. Needham said O’Keefe originally anticipated only being with the program for six months, but has now seen it through seven years.
Other business before the Board included a resolution approving the town of St. Joseph zoning ordinance, an amendment to all-terrain/utility terrain vehicle route ordinance, and a renewal of the lease agreement with the St. Croix County Fair.
John Allegro of the Information Technology Department reported his department had a busy year in 2020 with all the adjustments being made because of the pandemic.
Clerk Cindy Campbell reminded everyone the annual conference for the Wisconsin Counties Association is scheduled for September in La Crosse. She wanted people to start thinking about it so she could start handling registrations and have that taken care of by August.
The next Board of Supervisors meeting is at 5 p.m. on June 1.