Task force’s downtown plan backedA mayoral task force’s sweeping vision for the city’s downtown won over the Red Wing City Council Monday.
By: Jon Swedien, The Republican Eagle
A mayoral task force’s sweeping vision for the city’s downtown won over the Red Wing City Council Monday.
The council voted unanimously to embrace the plan — in concept.
Council members were quick to note they haven’t approved a $3 million budget to drive the plan.
That part of the vision — for which the task force is also asking support from a number of city agencies, foundations and local businesses — is still a work in progress.
The concept behind the plan is to attract young professionals and newly retired people to live downtown and to add office space to increase the amount of money spent downtown.
To spur redevelopment in that area, the city should buy undeveloped lots and spruce them up for developers, said Randal Hemmerlin, Red Wing Housing and Redevelopment Authority executive director and a spokesman for the group.
“If we see a site out there, maybe we need to be the one to jump in, buy it, redevelop it, and put it back on the market,” Hemmerlin said.
Council member Mike Schultz seemed to like the idea. “It’s investment, not spending,” said Schultz, echoing one of Hemmerlin’s earlier comments. “It does many things for the community when we do this.”
Specifically, Schultz said, the plan could increase the city’s tax base.
To get the public involved, the task force has arranged for a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. June 3 in the Red Wing Public Library’s Foot Room.
Details of the task force’s plan were mapped out in the April 20 edition of the Republican Eagle.