HUDSON — With the mayor and a few council members calling in, the Hudson Common Council met for its regular meeting Monday, March 23.

Mutual aid

The council approved a mutual aid agreement with the cities of New Richmond and River Falls for city services.

The agreement was prompted by concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic. City Administrator Aaron Reeves said the city has modified schedules of city staff so that if one employee gets sick, the rest do not.

“But it still could happen,” Reeves said.

Losing even half of a crew would be a strain on the city, he said.

With this agreement, the city could receive help from River Falls or New Richmond as needed, and also give mutual aid as needed.

Downtown parking utility commission

The council chose to delay forming a downtown parking utility commission, and instead send it back to public safety for further discussion.

Council member Joyce Hall said she envisioned formalizing the group as a committee, not a commission, that would make recommendations to the public safety committee.

Mayor Rich O’Connor said he made the proposal of a commission so it can function as a public utility.

Reeves said this setup does lay the role of the utility out more clearly. The council has the final vote on any action.

Council member Sarah Atkins Hoggatt said she’d like to see more representation on the board from other businesses beyond retail and restaurants.

The discussion was tabled, and the issue will be taken up by the public safety committee.

Upcoming events

With the COVID-19 pandemic leading to bans on gatherings, Council member Randy Morrissette questioned whether the council should approve events on its agenda.

Reeves said even if approved, the policy states the city can cancel for mitigating circumstances.

Taste of Hudson, with a new date of Sept. 10, Booster Days and the Gopher to Badger 5K and half marathon were approved with this in mind.

The National MS Walk, set for May 2, was not approved.