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Douglas County and the city of Superior are joining forces to look to the future. Superior's city council Tuesday night approved plans to file a joint grant application with the county to seek money for comprehensive planning. The goal is to lay the groundwork for future development in the city, towns and villages with a plan that will meet state requirements. The city has had a comprehensive plan since 1998, one year before the state legislature adopted "Smart Growth" legislation that requires counties to plan for the future.
The high cost of property taxes in northern Wisconsin is a frustration for many. Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, and Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, announced a plan today they hope can offer real relief to taxpayers statewide. The senators unveiled a $450 million plan Hanson and Jauch plan to introduce during the next budget session to bring relief to homeowners throughout the state. "A lot of people in the city are strapped with taxes," said City Councilor Chuck Hendry.
Bureaucratic red tape and costly fees are prompting city officials to take a second look at rental licensing requirements in Superior. A newly formed committee consisting of property managers, city councilors and city staff is beginning the process of looking at the licensing requirement implemented last year to find ways to improve the rental licensing program. "I think government always has a problem when they start a system and it doesn't work -- we just keep on going on," said Mayor Dave Ross. "And that's a fault of government.
The final chapter is being written for the Palace Theater. With the contract signed with North Shore Construction Antiques of Two Harbors, efforts to salvage what can be saved of the former vaudeville and movie house. The company, owned by John McCarthy, has until Oct. 16 to save anything that could be useful again. "Surprisingly, compared to some buildings like the orphanage (St.
Three groups are in the running for a chance to operate the race track at the Douglas County fairgrounds next year. Proposals were opened Tuesday to reveal a Superior Speedway hall of famer, a former promoter and a local attorney, and the owner of a local trucking firm working with a snowmobile wholesaler from the Twin Cities area. They are all vying for a shot to bring dirt track racing to a new level in the city. Douglas County's Land and Development Committee received copies of the proposal and set a special meeting next week to start negotiations with potential operators.
The red flag went up for Douglas County farmers Monday night during a discussion hosted by the Lake Superior Greens. Mark Liebaert, a farmer and representative of the National Farmer's Union, addressed about 20 farmers and livestock owners concerning pending federal legislation that could make it tougher going for local farmers. The legislation, H.R. 3170, would require farmers to become part of a national livestock identification system. Introduced by U.S. Rep.
For years, Darryl Helenius of Superior listened to people complain about the Douglas County Board. Most of those complaints surrounded its large number of members. Helenius filed a petition Tuesday that could put that complaint to the test of voters will. The petition proposes cutting the board from 28 to seven members, the same number who serve on the board in much-larger St. Louis County. Exactly when voters can voice their opinion is yet to be determined.
Operating a massive farm in Douglas County is now subject to local regulation. The Douglas County Board on Thursday adopted a new ordinance requiring licensing for farm operations that have 500 or more animal units. The number of animals varies by breed but is equal to about 334 cows or 1,500 sheep. "I still don't understand why you're doing this all," said Gary Peterson of Lakeside, one of the largest dairy farmers in the county. "The state already has regulations on this.
Tempers flared Tuesday night when a La Crosse engineer considering redevelopment of the Palace Theater decided to withdraw his proposal to save the historic vaudeville and movie house. Thomas J. Misco, president of La Crosse Theater Co., presented plans to renovate the Palace as a restaurant and second-run movie house for about $400,000. After presenting the proposal to the city councilors, members posed pointed questions. "I was asking reasonable questions about what I believe is an unreasonable proposal," Councilor Kevin Norbie said after the meeting adjourned.