Job Opening

The City of Black River Falls is seeking a qualified individual for the position of full-time Street Department Laborer.  Applicants must be in good physical condition and pass a complete physical prior to hire.  Requirements include a clean driving record with Class B CDL Drivers License, including air brake endorsement.  A high school diploma or GED is necessary.  The successful applicant must be able to respond to duty within 30 minutes of being called.

Applications are available here or can be picked up from City Hall, and the deadline to apply is September 21, 2018 at 4:30 P.M.  The City of Black River Falls is an equal opportunity employer.


Todd Gomer
Street Superintendent
City of Black River Falls


It was made official Tuesday as the ribbon was cut at the new Kwik Trip in Black River Falls at the intersection of Hwy. A and Hwy. 54.

It feels like a long time to some, but on Tuesday it was made official as the new Kwik Trip on Hwy. A in Black River Falls held its official ribbon cutting ceremony.

Whether it was the excitement of a new store or just the need for groceries and gas there was a lot of foot traffic moving in and out of the new store.

The new store employs about 30-40 people in Jackson County.

“I wanted to thank Kwik Trip for breathing life into this side of town,” Black River Falls city administrator Brad Chown said.

The hope for city officials is that the new business will attract other businesses to that side of town.

Company officials stressed how important their work with the community is and made two donations at the ribbon cutting.

Both Friends Sharing Food and the Boys and Girls Club of Black River Falls received $1,000 donations from Kwik Trip during the event.

Jon Warmke of Friends Sharing Food said, “Not only does this help our food pantries, but also our relationship with Rescue Foods.”

“This is definitely going to help us continue to do what we do every day,” Diane Moen-Ross, center director for the Boys and Girls Club, said.

County chairman Ray Ransom also commented how important it is to have new business coming into the county.

“This is truly a family-owned company and an employee-based company, you can see it when you walk in the door,” Ransom said.

The location just off Interstate 94 at the intersection of Hwy. 54 and Hwy. A will make the Kwik Trip one of the first things people see when they come into Black River Falls from that side of town.

“What a great thing to see when you come into the city,” Chown said.

Stephen Knoll / Jackson County Chronicle


Hansen’s IGA opens with shelves stocked

Kathy Mason of Black River Falls was excited to shop at the new Hansen’s IGA in Black River Falls Wednesday as she checked out their selection in the frozen aisle.

After months of speculation and anticipation, Hansen’s IGA opened Wednesday in Black River Falls on Hwy. A, attracting customers excited about the new grocery store.

Hansen’s IGA purchased the store Sept. 25 at a Milwaukee auction of Gordy’s Market properties after Gordy’s Market sold many of their properties earlier this year due to financial problems.

Kari Hansen, special projects coordinator for Hansen’s IGA, said everyone that comes to a Hansen’s IGA should expect high-quality produce, a great selection from the entire store, great staff and a high-quality meat department.

“We have our own smokehouse (meats) that we make at our Bangor location and distribute to all of our locations. We have won awards on our bratwursts and some of our other sausages. We also have a signature double-smoked ham from that smokehouse,” Hansen said.

Kathy Mason of Black River Falls who was taking in the new store agreed, “I like their selection of meat and I have bought Hansen’s meat in West Salem and I’ve been very happy with it.”

Leo and Rosemary Hansen opened their first grocery store location in 1968 in Bangor. Sons Greg and Nick Hansen, in addition to Greg’s wife Kari, are now involved in the day-to-day operations of Hansen’s IGA.

“The three of us are in the stores all of the time and are involved in the day-to-day aspects of things,” Hansen said adding that Leo and Rosemary Hansen are trying to retire, but do come by and help sometimes. “Leo and Rosemary were here yesterday helping us get stocked and things.”

The entire family and employees have been working on restocking the shelves in Black River Falls since Sunday when the store closed down to facilitate the changeover. Hansen’s IGA plans to leave the layout the same, but will be analyzing the needs of the area which may alter the size of some departments.

“It is a great town and the staff that is here, we’ve been excited to have them be a part of the team. It is just a great town to be involved with,” Hansen said.

Karen Iverson also stopped in on Wednesday to scope out the new store and was impressed with how clean it was. “I am very happy that somebody came in here,” Iverson said. “I’m just happy that it is IGA because I did like John’s.”

John’s IGA was a grocery store that was in downtown Black River Falls several years ago next to the Black River.

Mason was also impressed with the selection the new store had, “I think it is wonderful. I am happy to have a good grocery store in town.”

Hansen said that they are currently working on restocking the shelves and will be making signage changes over the next few months in anticipation of a grand opening after the first of the year.

The Black River Falls store is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day of the week with senior discounts available in the store on Wednesdays.

Jordan Simonson jordan.simonson@lee.netJackson County Chronicle


Amanda Gunn, BRACC Executive Director


Robert Crampes, President of The Black River Area Chamber of Commerce (BRACC), has announced that Amanda Gunn has been hired as the new Executive Director.  She succeeds Chris Hardie who resigned on September 1st to accept a position with the 7 Rivers Alliance.

Gunn has been the BRACC’s Office Manager the past eight years and says she is very excited about the opportunities and responsibilities that lie ahead for her.  “I am looking forward to promoting tourism in our area and working more in-depth with BRACC members,” she said.  “The chamber helps play a vital role in our community and I am honored to have been offered this position.  Jackson County is such a great place to live and work.  It’s a privilege to be able to serve in this capacity.”

Gunn was raised in Black River Falls and graduated from Black River Falls High School.  She holds an Associate Degree in Marketing from Chippewa Valley Technical College. She grew up in the house where she now lives with her husband Tyler, son Jack, mother Mary O’Brien and two mini dachshunds.  The house has been in her family since the early 1900s.  “My son is the 5th generation in my family to live in this house,” she said.  “My roots go way back.”

She says she looks forward to meeting and hearing from BRACC members and can be reached at 715-284-4658 or at



National Drug Take Back Day

If you’re looking to get rid of old prescription drugs and over the counter medications, you can take them to the National Drug Take Back Day on October 28th at the Jackson County Recycling Center from 8am-2pm.


Trick-or-Treating will be from 5-7 on Oct. 31st.

Remember to keep your front light on if you want kiddos to stop.


Black River Falls Common Council members took on a number of topics at their Tuesday meeting ranging from appointments to the city budget.

As the city works on bringing in business and getting a historical designation for the downtown area, Mayor Jay Eddy set up two entities that will focus on those subjects.

The Business Improvement District Board will handle the business portions and the members appointed are Laura Colloton Chrest, Deanna Lisota, Lyall White, Bill Moe and Andrea Hoffman.

Tackling the historical designation will be the Historical Preservation Commission that consists of Eric Erickson, Mary Woods, Barb Simonis, Joe Gaier, Darren Durnham, Jim Hoffman and Dana Olson.

The council also discussed a resolution to adjust how room tax dollars are distributed, the main change being an increase to 49 percent of the money going to the tourist entity in the city.

There were also minor adjustments in the amount going to the Jackson County Fair Park maintenance fund, with 37.5 percent going to the Milt Lunda Arena and the Jackson County Fair Park Association, while 25 percent will go to the Lunda Community Park maintenance fund.

The council also approved establishing a $1 million line of credit with the Black River County Bank.

Working with the municipal utilities, the city is establishing the credit for needed dam repairs.

The city and municipal utilities are also working together on a project to update the street lighting in the city to LED bulbs.

A few refunds to the city from the utilities for overcharges are expected to cover the cost of the update.

City Administrator Brad Chown said the update was needed and the prices have started going down making it the right time for the update.

Switching to LED lights should save the city a substantial amount of money and the longevity of the bulbs will also mean less maintenance costs.

They have done research into light wash studies to make sure the new lights aren’t affecting apartment complexes downtown too much.

Chown said the lights would be around the same wattage as the current ones, so it shouldn’t be a significant difference.

At the meeting Police Chief Kelly Bakken requested to rescind the police departments general order manual.

She mentioned that it duplicates policies and contradicts others. Moving forward, the plan would be to have one policy manual and work on assessing that one and updating it as needed.

The next meeting will be a special meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 18.