Red Wing City Council
Mayor salary changed
The mayor's salary will now match City Council members' pay. All will make $290.40 biweekly; the mayor previously received $817.94 monthly.
Employee Services Director Roger Seymour said the Personnel Committee had been considering for a while whether there should be a change. Its recommendation was to make all the salaries equal.
Council member Ralph Rauterkus, a former council president, said he would support a two-tiered option where the mayor and council president receive extra pay. But others disagreed.
"It's a chosen position," Council member Dean Hove said of the president's spot. "I don't see why it's worth any more money than anyone else sitting on the council."
New Mayor Dan Bender said he knew the lower salary was being considered and was fine with the change, which council members unanimously approved on a voice vote.
Rental housing inspection code to be discussed
John Baker, the attorney representing Red Wing in legal disputes over the city's rental housing inspection code, told City Council members Monday the city could "claim credit for several important wins" after the Supreme Court ruling at the end of May.
Minnesota's highest court said Red Wing's rental inspection ordinance is not unconstitutional on its face, as opponents argued.
Baker suggested city staff and the city attorney evaluate the code and any alternatives and report back to the council.
"The next steps are up to the city," Baker said.
City Attorney Jay Squires agreed and said they could come back with some options in late summer or early fall.
Bridge project addressed
The City Council voted to send a letter to the Minnesota Department of Transportation supporting the need to remove the Highway 63 approach bridge that goes over Highway 61.
The bridge approach is eligible for historic designation, which means options for saving it must be considered during the construction project as the Eisenhower Bridge is redone.
Planning Director Brian Peterson said if the city has to keep that in place, that eliminates some alternatives that could help with traffic problems in the area.
"Keeping that bridge is more ... hurtful to our historic downtown district," he said.
The Red Wing Heritage Preservation Commission also will explore the issue.
The City Council approved firefighter and fire captain union contracts Monday as part of the consent agenda.
The contracts include 2 percent wage increases in 2013 and 2014, and a two percent increase in employee health insurance premiums in 2014 with no change in 2013, according to staff reports.
Members also approved a contract renewal with ProAct for janitorial services in city buildings. The contract is reviewed annually.
Red Wing Fire Chief Tom Schneider recognized Stephanie Turnbell for helping a neighbor with a kitchen fire. Schneider said Turnbell took a fire extinguisher from her home to help put out an oven fire and pulled an individual out of the house to safety.
Monday's City Council meeting lasted about two and a half hours. All members were present.
--Compiled by Danielle Killey, staff writer