Recipe for a New Bridge

After four plus years of construction, the St. Croix Crossing opened for traffic on Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017.
It’s been said that I am one the project’s biggest boosters. Did I drive across it as soon as I could? Did I walk across it? Cycle across it? No comment. No comment. No comment.

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Real Estate Values Finally Recover

Today’s hot real estate market is far different than the downward spiral and crash that started in 2008 and impacted 2009 values and beyond, according to annual reports from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. Equalized values are the foundation to support local taxes levied by towns-villages-cities, school districts, and counties.

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Who Are We?

The question, ‘Who are we?’ should not be confused with the album and song from the late 1970s, ‘Who are you?’

But I really want to know.

Who are we? Who, who, who, who? In particular what makes up St. Croix County? Some of the answers can be found in an electronic QuickFacts system created by the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Area’s Most Affluent Zip Code – Houlton, WI

G. Scott Thomas is a projects editor for Buffalo Business First, part of the fleet of publications operated by American City Business Journals. To say that Mr. Thomas is a numbers guy is akin to saying Richard Leinenkugel knows a little bit about beer. I like Mr. Thomas and I like the 150 years the Leinenkugel family has devoted to their trade. Exhaustive work on both fronts.

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Cheers To Industry Clusters

St. Croix County has another budding cluster – alcohol – in the form of breweries, distilleries, and wineries. A skeptic may suggest that while others chase uncatchable business sectors, some revert to the lowest common denominator: alcohol.

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John, Howard, and the St. Croix River Crossing

A debt of gratitude goes out to a couple of elder statesmen for their contributions in making the St. Croix River Crossing a reality. I’ll call them John and Howard. Their names may (or may not) have been changed to protect their true identities.

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Going Low, Going High

May 2017’s unemployment rates for Wisconsin counties and large cities were released by the state’s Department of Workforce Development on June 21st. The state’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate of 3.1% came out a week earlier. if the seasonally adjusted components are not factored in, Wisconsin’s rate of 2.8 percent is even lower. The suggested theme here is “Going Low”.

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Field of Dreams

Do you recognize the name Archibald Wright Graham? Would his nickname “Moonlight” Graham help? How about the novel, Shoeless Joe, or the movie, Field of Dreams?

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Decisions a Decade Ago Yield Big Benefits

The West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (RPC) serves a seven county region in the St. Croix and Chippewa Valleys. In 2005, the RPC agreed to participate in a pilot program originating out of Madison. The initiative asked towns, villages, cities, and counties to consider consolidating their existing revolving loan funds into a new, consolidated account. The proposed fund would be subject to uniform policy guidelines compared to assorted standards across the region.

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Business-Friendly Rankings: Wisconsin Earns a Top 10

In May, Chief Executive Magazine released its annual ranking of Best and Worst States for Business.
Surprise! Wisconsin made the Top 10 with a #10 ranking. That’s one better than the 2016 ranking, but light years better than the 2010 ranking of #41.

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A Bridge Befitting the St. Croix Valley

After four plus years of construction and an earlier year that brought exploratory borings into bedrock at the bottom of the St. Croix River, a new legacy bridge connecting St. Croix (WI) and Washington counties will soon open. That’s right, a legacy bridge — in a special corner of the world – the St. Croix Valley.

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