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We have experienced staff working on this project that have worked on similar projects in the past. They know what to look for so we can reduce cost. The design for the expansion will take a sustainable approach and reuse as much of the existing building and furniture as we can to keep costs down. After receiving feedback from the County Board, we have updated this project to decrease the scope and cost by over 10 million dollars while still meeting the needs of the County.
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Currently St. Croix County is the fastest growing County in the state of Wisconsin.
In a population projection report from the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) (page 19) they state that “St. Croix County is projected to be the fastest-growing county, in terms of percentage change, through 2040, increasing by 41% (from census data in 2010). As a component county of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area, it also ranked as Wisconsin’s top-growing county from 1980 to 2010.”
This report was created in December of 2013 using 2010 census data. If the DOA updates this report with 2020 census data, we will share that information.
The image of the table below is from the DOA report and shows fastest growing counties in Wisconsin by percent from 2010 to 2040. St. Croix County is the fastest growing county with a projected 41.1% change in population followed by Calumet County with a 31.1% change and Kenosha County with a 26% change.
Three studies have been done on St. Croix County Government facilities since 2012.
A 2012 facilities planning study found the Government Center in Hudson to be in good condition and noted the growing needs of District Courts.
A 2019 Jail study determined that jail population projections will potentially increase at a rate consistent with the 10-year annual trend of just under 3%. Projecting out 5 years from the study (2024), the anticipated average daily population would be 146; at 10 years (2029) the average daily population would be 166; and at 15 years (2034) the average daily population would be 189.
A 2020-2021 masterplan study considered the data from the two previous studies and additional data from each department head. The department heads provided past staffing data, anticipated rate of growth, and outlined current space issues. The planning team then met with the departments to determine their current and future space needs. The result of the department interviews provided a space needs assessment used for the masterplans. Read the 2020-2021 Masterplan Study here.
A Government Center Building Subcommittee was formed in March of 2021 to discuss and review the need for an expansion of the St. Croix County Government Center in Hudson. The committee reviewed these previous studies, toured County facilities, and met with County employees to learn more about the space needs of the Government Center. After seven months of discussion, the subcommittee voted to recommend the project move forward to the Administration Committee meeting in January 2022 for consideration.
This multi-phase project is divided into 4 phases that are designed to accommodate the expected growth and needs of St. Croix County. Phase 2 was approved for funding at the County Board Meeting in March of 2022.
Phase 1 is already in progress and includes a new storage building. The storage building will house facilities maintenance and emergency vehicles and Sheriff’s Office storage.
Phase 2 includes building additions to the north and south and renovations to the existing building.
You can view the updated floorplans here.
Entrances to the Sheriff’s Office Public Lobby, Jail, Justice Support Center, and Staff Clinic would be available on the south west side of the building. The ground floor includes:
Entrance is centrally located on the east side of the building. The first floor includes additional space for:
The second floor includes additional space for:
Phase 3 is planned to provide additional inmate housing, medical services, and programs for the jail if needed.
Phase 4 is planned to expand the Service Center in New Richmond. Projections show the building will need an addition in approximately 10 years to accommodate the growing needs of the health and human services departments.
To meet the growing need of our County we will need to expand the Government Center. Interest rates are still at historic lows but are expected to rise throughout the year and in the coming years.
After receiving feedback from the County Board, we have decreased the projected maximum budget for phase 2 of the Government Center expansion to $80 Million. The final amount we borrow may be lower. The cost for this phase will not exceed this amount.
To pay for the expansion of this phase, property taxes would increase based off your equalized property value. The dollar amounts shown in the graph below represent the maximum change to your property taxes. This amount will gradually drop back down over the years.
It is important to note that these numbers do not factor in growth to our County. We are currently the fastest growing county in Wisconsin. As our population grows and more people are paying taxes, the cost is spread out, and will result in lower taxes.
Our property taxes are determined by the County’s Mill Rate. The Mill Rate for St. Croix County has decreased every year since 2013. This expansion will raise the mill rate to near the level we were at in 2020 then should decrease in the following years.
We know that no one likes seeing their property taxes increase, but did you know that County taxes account for less than 20% of the average property tax bill? That's means less than 20 cents on every dollar you pay in property taxes goes to fund important services like 9-1-1 dispatch and our Sheriff’s Department, Court Services, and keeping our roads clear in the winter. The expansion will help ensure our services keep up with the growing needs of our County.
The images below show an example of tax bill distribution percentages for the cities of Hudson and New Richmond.
During the planning process, the team met with County representatives to review various expansion options. The options included a north expansion, a south expansion, both north and south expansions as well as a separate administration building. Building security, staff circulation, and inmate movement were considered in all options. The decision was made to pursue a north and south expansion.
The County did look into virtual working environments. Many County employees have the capability to work remotely if needed for flexibility. However, many of the services we offer the residents and visitors of St. Croix County are best served or can only be served in-person by having a physical presence in the Government Center Building.
A Government Center Building Subcommittee was formed in March of 2021 to discuss and review the need for an expansion of the St. Croix County Government Center in Hudson. The committee reviewed previous studies, toured County facilities, met with County employees to learn more about the space needs of the Government Center. After seven months of discussion, the subcommittee voted to recommend the project move forward to the Administration Committee meeting in January 2022 for consideration. Below is a timeline of this project:
The expansion will not have negative environmental impacts. All the land is currently owned by the County and is properly zoned for public use. The expansion will not be directly visible to most homes in the area. Trees will be replanted throughout the property including the area on the north end of the property near the paved walking trail.
We are focused on responsible consumption of energy for the future of this building. During our strategic planning process, residents expressed a great interest in the use of alternative energies. Our plan considers the use of solar energy to be mindful of our environment and offset our future energy consumption and cost.
Slight increases in traffic and noise would happen during the construction. A traffic study may be conducted to determine future impact to traffic in the area.
You can find more information on the Government Center Expansion web page. If you have questions that are not answered on this page or in these FAQs, email St. Croix County's Public Information Officer.