Changes on the St. Croix River, federally protected as a U.S. Wild and Scenic River since 1968, will be discussed May 21 when former Vice President Walter Mondale delivers a keynote address in Stillwater.

Questions examined during the event at the Water Street Inn will include: Is there a new vision for the St. Croix River? Do we have the legal protections, the resources and the political will to protect it in the 21st century?

The event, which begins at 7 p.m., is free and open to the public.

Mondale, who co-sponsored the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act as a U.S. senator, is the evening’s featured speaker. Also participating will be representatives of the National Park Service, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and the Minnesota Legislature:

• Christopher Stein, superintendent, St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, National Park Service.

• Keith Parker, director, Central Region, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

• Sen. Karin Housley, District 39, representing Marine on St. Croix, May Township, Scandia, and all of Stillwater.

• Sen. Katie Sieben, District 54, Assistant Majority Leader, representing Afton and Denmark Township.

• Mayor Ted Kozlowski, Stillwater.

• Don Shelby, longtime WCCO new anchor, master of ceremonies.

The event is co-sponsored by the Friends of Washington County, the Friends of the St. Croix Boom Site, and the St. Croix River Association. For details visit


City assessor retires, new deputy at work

After 36 years as Hugo’s city assessor, Frank Langer has retired.

His primary duties included listing, valuation and classification of more than 6,000 real estate parcels every year. Replacing Langer is Dan Raboin, a Stillwater native. Raboin has worked for Washington County as an assessor since 1992.

Hugo also has a new sheriff’s deputy, Clayton Evans. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office supplies six full-time and two part-time deputies in Hugo under a contract for law enforcement services, the city said.

Ceremony observes trail extension

The public can attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Hardwood Creek Regional Trail extension at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 14, along the Hardwood Creek Trail at Hwy. 61 and 145th Street in Hugo.

The ceremony celebrates the extension of the trail from 145th Street to 140th Street in Hugo. Parking will be off Hwy. 61 at 145th Street.

Washington County

Tree Trust will run youth job programs

The Washington County Board approved a contract with Tree Trust on April 28 to provide services for the county’s WorkForce Center youth employment programs for the next three summers.

Each summer, the WorkForce Center serves at-risk and low-income youth by providing jobs at a supervised work site, such as a city or county park. Estimated cost is $90,000 per summer for two crews; the total for the three-year contract is $270,000. Each crew has 16 to 20 youth. Costs include youth participant wages, supervision, transportation, equipment and supplies, paid from the state’s Youth Program.

Liquor licenses OK’d for three businesses

The Washington County Board has approved on-sale and Sunday liquor licenses for Afton Apple Orchard, Cenco Farms Inc. in Denmark Township, and Outing Lodge in Stillwater Township.

Washington County processes liquor licenses for townships. In addition, the Sheriff’s Office, the County Attorney’s office, and the Department of Public Health and Environment complete compliance and verification checks.

The $2,200 license fee pays for administration and compliance and verification checks.


County has new septic ordinance

The Washington County Board has updated the county’s subsurface sewage treatment system ordinance.

Washington County has about 17,000 septic systems serving about 80 percent of the county’s geographic area and about 50,000 residents.

The ordinance revision will adopt changes to state rules, allow for oversight of septage land spreading, require maintenance permits before servicing systems, modify time allowed for replacement of a failing system, and allow use of historical records for dispute resolution.

Kevin Giles