City to have a Capitol presence — at a costRed Wing City Council approved a hefty contract Monday to hire a lobbying firm. Councilors voted unanimously to approve a $110,000 contract with the firm Flaherty and Hood.
By: Jon Swedien, The Republican Eagle
Red Wing City Council approved a hefty contract Monday to hire a lobbying firm. Councilors voted unanimously to approve a $110,000 contract with the firm Flaherty and Hood.
The firm will lobby state lawmakers to pass legislation requiring Xcel Energy to make public safety payments to the city if its ongoing bid to ramp up and extend operations at Prairie Island nuclear plant for another 20 years is approved.
Lobbyists will also ask lawmakers to prepare for the potential of permanent nuclear waste storage at Prairie Island.
But a comment made during Monday's council meeting could undercut Red Wing's lobbying efforts before they begin.
Council President Mike Schultz called out Sen. Steve Murphy and Rep. Tim Kelly Monday, saying the local lawmakers hadn't gone far enough in helping the city with issues regarding Xcel.
"I call them missing in action on that issue," Schultz said.
The comment didn't sit well with Murphy. He said he and Kelly worked to mediate the relationship, suggesting Red Wing meet with Xcel. Murphy said they were present when the sides met.
See what else lawmakers and council members had to say about the issue in Wednesday's print edition.