2023 Issue 3 - Fall
Hudson City Newsletter - Fall 2023
2023 Issue 3: Fall
Did you know?
The St. Croix County Historical Society purchased the Octagon House in 1964 as an organizational hub and a historic house museum. Visitors can enjoy a wide array of events at the Octagon house year-round, including the upcoming Superstitions & Ghost Stories Tour on Thursday, October 26.
In this issue:
A Note from the Mayor
We’ve Gone Digital!
Booyah is Back - And it's Bigger!
E. P. Rock Principal Dolf Schmidt was lead cook at the 2022 Booyah.
The rain-or-shine outdoor feast returns Saturday, Sept. 30 at Weitkamp Park from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. with food, friendship, and fun. The Booyah tradition celebrates fall with a piping-hot bowl of stew enjoyed outside on a crisp day.
This year’s event features Little Blue’s Traveling Zoo (from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. only), lawn games, book character visits, and other fun activities provided by the Hudson Area Public Library. Kids can play on park equipment and explore emergency vehicles such as a police car, fire truck, and ambulance.
Hudson’s Golden Rule team, comprised of local organizations, launched the Booyah in 2022 to bring people together and celebrate community spirit. The team wanted a signature event that represented unity as well as a sense of normalcy after the isolation we experienced during COVID. Meeting new people. Face-to-face conversations. Activities for all ages. And at the center of it all: a communal meal.
On Booyah day, the team of cooks will gather before dawn to prepare and simmer a mouth-watering stew, loaded with meat and veggies, over an open fire. Also on the menu: all beef hotdogs, vegan soup, snacks, soda, and beer. People are welcome to bring their own food if menu items don’t fit their dietary preferences.
The Booyah is generously supported by Agave, RJ’s Meats, County Market, and Chicone’s Liquor Mart.
The Golden Rule team strives for civility, respect, and understanding in our daily interactions by encouraging the practice of the Golden Rule throughout greater Hudson.
Volunteers Carol Szyman and Holly Tremble (left to right) spent an evening chopping vegetables for the 2022 event.
The library’s teen books are on the move. Thanks to a generous grant from the Wendell Petersen Charitable Trust, Hudson Area Public Library teens are getting a new place to call their own.
Upstairs, the shelves in the young adult section were packed full; and space and weight restrictions prevented expansion. Essentially, if a new book was purchased, an existing book had to be removed. Staff moved the young adult books from the second floor to the space downstairs formerly occupied by the public computers. To save money, the library re-used all the existing teen shelves alongside new mobile shelving.
The public computers now have a home in the former iLab, just a few feet from the previous spot. The computers are organized into study carrels. Patrons now have a quieter space and more privacy when they use the computers.
The Petersen grant includes funds to transform the former young adult section into a social space for teens. This phase of the project is still underway, but it will include new seating, an activities table, cool technology, and more. A group of teens have been meeting with library staff and sharing their thoughts about the ideal library hangout.
The project is expected to be fully completed by December.
Fire Department - Fire Prevention Week
Fire Prevention Week is on October 8 - 14. In preparation, the Hudson Fire Department wants to share some best practices on cooking safety - this year’s focus.
Here are some simple but important steps you can take to help reduce the risk of fire when cooking at home.
- Cooking is the leading cause of home fires, with nearly half of all home fires involving cooking equipment.
- Cooking is the leading cause of home fire injuries.
- Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home cooking fires and related deaths.
- Cooking is the only major cause of fire that resulted in more fires and fire deaths in 2014-2018 than in 1980-1984.
Cooking safety starts with YOU! Pay attention to fire prevention by doing the following:
- Always keep a close eye on what you are cooking. For foods with longer cooking times, such as those that are simmering or baking, set a timer to help monitor them carefully.
- Clear the cooking area of combustible items and keep anything that can burn, such as dish towels, oven mitts, food packaging, and paper towels.
- Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Keep a lid nearby when cooking.
- If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner.
- Create a “kid and pet-free zone” of at least three feet (one meter) around the cooking area and anywhere else hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
Fall Change Safety Tips
- Change your smoke alarm batteries.
- Change smoke alarm batteries at daylight savings time change (except 10-year sealed batteries)
- Check the age of your smoke alarm – replace if 10 years old or older.
- Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms.
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions for installation and maintenance.
- Have your furnace serviced by a reputable heating and cooling company.
- Make sure filters are changed regularly.
- Have the flue checked for blockage and leaks.
- Have the furnace checked for safe operation.
- Clean your fireplace and chimney.
- Hire a reputable chimney sweep to clean and inspect your chimney and fireplace.
- Ask chimney sweeps if they are members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG).
- Use caution with space heaters.
- Never use a space heater unless you have working smoke alarms.
- Keep combustibles at least 3 feet away from space heaters.
- Never use extension cords to power electric space heaters
- Make sure your space heater has a tip-over safety switch.
- Use caution when cooking for the holidays.
- Deep fry turkeys outside away from buildings and wood decks.
- Don’t leave frying unattended – “stand by your pan” (or deep fryer).
- Follow your deep fryer’s operation instructions for safe use.
Wastewater Treatment Plant Project Update
You may have wondered, where does my water go after I use it and it goes down the drain. Well, wastewater treatment is an essential last step after flushing your toilet, doing dishes, laundry, or taking a shower. Wastewater Treatment cleans the dirty water before it safely returns it to the environment. In the case of the City of Hudson, this means returning the water to the St. Croix River.
Wastewater treatment systems involve multiple treatment steps that comprise multiple tanks and buildings. As you might imagine, the wastewater treatment plant must operate non-stop 24 hours a day 365 days a year. There are no holidays or days off for wastewater treatment. Over time, with constant wear and tear, the wastewater treatment facility needs to have major improvements to maintain operations and continue to meet DNR permit requirements. Very recently, the City of Hudson completed a major wastewater treatment improvements project while operating continuously throughout the construction.
The Hudson Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements project was a $12 million investment in the treatment plant to replace aging infrastructure and improve operations and maintenance. Major upgrades as part of the project included:
- Construction of a new pretreatment building with new screening and grit removal.
- Replacement of the chlorine disinfection with UV light disinfection.
- Replacement of the biosolids thickening tank.
- Replacement of much of the process equipment including pumps, blowers, aeration diffusers, and odor control systems.
- Replacement of the mechanical HVAC systems and installing electrical LED lighting.
The treatment plant was originally constructed in the late 1950s with major upgrade projects in 1982 and 1998, as well as many minor construction projects along the way. A sizable portion of the plant equipment was reaching the end of its useful life and the utility was managing increasing maintenance and repair costs.
In 2018, the City started the planning process with a condition assessment report of the wastewater treatment plant, essentially a report card of the operations and mechanical structures of the plant. Then in 2019 a Facility Plan report was completed to forecast future needs of the treatment capacity and compared different alternatives for keeping the WWTP running effectively and efficiently for the next 20 years.
The Facility Plan also allowed the City to receive ultra-low interest loans from the Wisconsin DNR Clean Water Fund program to finance the project. The city then worked with Wisconsin DNR, SEH, and Magney Construction to design and build the upgrades over the past 3 years.
The former screening and grit removal equipment at the WWTP, which is used to removed rags and sand from the raw wastewater, was in a very harsh working environment that required daily labor for cleaning and operation. The new pretreatment building at the south end of the site created a much safer working environment with new screening equipment and grit removal, along with improved ventilation and odor control.
The final treatment process before discharging the water into the St. Croix River is disinfection, which inactivates pathogens and other bacteria that cause illnesses. The original disinfection technology was chlorination. Chlorination involved using chlorine gas to kill the pathogens and sulfur dioxide gas to remove the left-over chlorine. Both gases are harmful to work with and labor intensive. The chlorine gas system was replaced with an Ultraviolet Light disinfection system. UV disinfection is the most popular method of disinfection for its lower maintenance time and improved operator safety.
The leftover biosolids from the treatment process are thickened to remove excess water which saves money on digester efficiency and truck hauling. The original Dissolved Air Flotation metal tank had passed its useful life and needed to be replaced, so it was replaced with a concrete tank and new pumps and air compressors.
Every building at the facility was renovated in some way, including replacing aeration tank diffuser grids, blowers, pumps, HVAC equipment, LED lights, painting, and bringing each room up to electrical and mechanical code.
Wastewater plant retrofit projects can be challenging to coordinate the construction with the ongoing operations of the facility. The project, like many other construction projects, was impacted by supply chain shortages and long delivery times but has been completed thanks to the leadership and dedication of the Utilities Department and Wastewater Staff.
As a reminder, PLEASE DO NOT FLUSH FOREIGN OBJECTS DOWN YOUR TOILET. Items such as “flushable wipes”, diapers, cleaning rags, and feminine products are very real problems that the WWTP and staff must deal with as these products DO NOT breakdown and cause major issues with screens and especially pumps. Hudson Utilities has invested greatly in the future needs of the community, so please do your part, and avoid flushing any foreign materials. Your WWTP and staff thank you.
Public Works Updates
Fall Stormwater Pollution Prevention Tips
Raking leaves onto a stormwater inlet creates more pollution of local streams and waterways. Not only do leaves contribute to stream pollution, but they can also cause localized flooding if they clog storm drains and pipes. Help protect nearby waterways from excess nutrients and never rake leaves into a storm drain. Waste Management will pick up yard waste at the curbside for $3.00 per bio-degradable bag; Each bag needs a sticker which can be purchased at City Hall or County Market. Residents can also subscribe to an optional yard waste container program by contacting Waste Management at 1-866-983-6542.
Nancy Fouks Named Brand Champion
Congratulations to Nancy Fouks who was recently named a Brand Champion by the Hudson Chamber of Commerce. Nancy has been the city gardener for over 24 years. Nancy is responsible for the lovely gardens and pots at Lakefront Park, Williams Park, and Prospect Park. Each spring, she cleans up the gardens, then plants them as well as the pots by the Hudson arch. All summer you will see Nancy weeding and tending to the plants and gardens throughout the city to keep them growing and blooming. She has seen a lot of weeds in her 24 years! Nancy makes sure the gardens are ready for all the community events held during the summer that welcome residents and visitors to the community. You will see Nancy everywhere in the parks throughout the summer and she goes above and beyond for this community. Thank You Nancy for your hard work and dedication to the City of Hudson.
Williams Park Restroom
The city is in the process of replacing the Williams Park Restroom. The project is set to be completed by July 2024.
Anderson Park Basketball Hoops
Thanks to a generous donation, the Anderson Park basketball hoops are scheduled to be replaced this fall.
2024 Street Projects
Common Council has approved the 2024 street reconstruction projects which include Green St. and the remaining section of Vine St (from Wisconsin to Diamond). Staff will develop plans and specifications over the winter with a spring letting and summer construction.
EP Rock Elementary 3rd Grade Election
3rd Graders at EP Rock toured City Hall and other municipal buildings as part of their social studies curriculum. The Clerk’s Office hosted a mock election and taught the kids a little about the election process, how to read and vote a ballot, and showed them the tabulator. We also spoke about who is eligible to vote, the different types of elected officials, and how important one vote can be. The 3rd graders voted on a topic very important to them: ICE CREAM! The first race on the ballot was ice cream flavors and the second race was ice cream toppings. The children had an option to select the flavors on the ballot or write-in their own favorites. The winner: Vanilla Ice Cream with Candy toppings.
Building Number Requirements
After our hailstorm and a few wind events, many homes in Hudson recently had their siding replaced. Since addresses are often removed during siding replacement, we want to remind people to make sure their building numbers are posted.
Here are some more details from our city ordinance § 106-39:
- Building numbers must be five inches in height minimum for industrial, commercial, school, church, multifamily, and other buildings. Individual apartments in multifamily buildings should have numbers that are a minimum of 3 inches in height.
- Single-family and two-family residences should also have building numbers that are 3 inches high, at minimum.
- Numbers should be in block style, be easily seen from the street, be presented in numbers and not words, and should distinctly contrast with the surface they’re on.
More on the ordinance is available on the city website.
Business Feature: Carbone's
This season’s business feature is Carbone’s, which has been operating and serving the community in downtown Hudson for over 35 years. Carbone’s is committed to giving customers the highest-quality ingredients and products at all times. They slow-cook pizzas to perfection and use the freshest ingredients to ensure the finest eating experience.
Eric McGregor, owner of Carbone’s, says his favorite thing about owning a business in Hudson is being able to service and support the community after growing up in Hudson. If you’re going to go to Carbone’s for one thing, make it their Super Pie! It’s made with their signature sausage, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, black & green olives, banana peppers, and extra cheese. Talk about the works!
Carbone’s participates in several events during the year, including school fundraising nights, Art in the Park, Booster Days specials, and more. Not only does Carbone’s offer carry-out and delivery, but they also have a full-service dine-in area. It’s a great place for a pizza night out with family or friends!
Send Us Your Snaps!
If you have an eye for the city, we want to add your photography to our newsletter! We’re seeking submissions for future issues.
If you want to share your photos of Hudson with us (all seasons needed), please send them with any photo credit you’d like to see, including a URL if you have one, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll need some winter shots for the next issue, but share anything that you think shows Hudson at its best!
When: Saturday Sep 30, 2-6 p.m.
Where: Weitkamp Park, rain or shine!
Details: Celebrate Hudson with Booyah, a long-simmering stew cooked outdoors and shared by a community, plus fun activities: Little Blue's Traveling Zoo, emergency vehicle exploration, book character visits, lawn games, and more. Also available: all-beef hotdogs, vegan soup, soda, beer, and snacks. Free event. Food for purchase.
Flannel and Friends Supporting the Free Clinic of Pierce & St. Croix Counties
When: Sunday Oct 15, 12 - 3 p.m.
Where: Camp St. Croix - RCU Center, 345 Riverview Drive, Hudson, WI 54016
Details: Join the Free Clinic of Pierce & St. Croix Counties for their fall fundraising event, "Flannel and Friends." The event will be held at Camp St. Croix - RCU Center in Hudson on October 15 from noon to 3pm.
Hilltop Pumpkin Party 2023
When: Saturday Oct 21, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Where: Camp St. Croix - Day Croix, 345 Riverview Dr, Hudson, WI 54016
Details: Join us for this FREE family fun outdoor event now featuring the 70th Annual Rotary Halloween Parade and Costume Contest! Come early and make sure to register for the costume contest starting at 1:30. The Rotary Club of Hudson prizes include cash prizes for the Top 5 "Best Costumes" in four age groups (4 years and younger; 5-7 years; 8-10 years; 11 years and up). Best Group (top 2) receive $45/$25 and Best of Show receives $150!
Halloween at Homestead
When: Saturday Oct 28, 2-5 p.m.
Where: Homestead Parklands, Bookworm Trail, 550 Perch Lake Rd
Details: Come Trick or Treat on the Bookworm Trail! The trail is a safe, ½-mile paved path with gentle slopes. Suitable for all ages and abilities.
Have a Hudson Holiday
When: Monday Nov 6, 2023 - Friday Feb 9, 2024
Where: Hudson, WI
Details: This year we look forward to filling Hudson with lights and over-the-top decorations for our shops and award-winning restaurants. We invite you to enjoy our events this holiday season! Our Hudson Holiday events are made possible by generous donations from area businesses and organizations with special recognition to the City of Hudson and the Hudson Area Home and Garden Club.