Red Wing City Council briefsFrom the meeting of Feb. 27, 2012.
VCB had a good year
Red Wing Visitors and Convention Bureau Director Kathy Silverthorn gave the agency’s annual report Monday, saying 2011 was a good year for the organization. “This is the best year that we’ve ever had for lodging tax collection,” she said. “We’re doing something right if we continue to have more and more people lodging in Red Wing.”
The VCB also partners with Amtrak and Jefferson Lines — which expanded its bus services to Red Wing last year — to sell tickets. Silverthorn said it has been “an asset to the community to have Jefferson Lines here.”
Additionally, more than 16,400 people came to the visitor center in 2011, not including those using Amtrak or Jefferson transportation.
City gears up for Xcel plan response
The City Council is working on comments that will be submitted to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission regarding Xcel Energy’s triennial report on Prairie Island nuclear plant’s decommissioning. Xcel submits a report every three years studying the costs of decommissioning the plant and storing nuclear waste.
This is the first time the city will be able to respond to the report, and it hired a lawyer to help draft the comments. A draft document is still private under attorney-client privilege.
The council and solid waste committee will continue to hash out the language before submission to the PUC.
Expansion variance approved
The council unanimously approved a variance Monday allowing Red Wing Chevrolet to expand its building without following the area’s design code specifications.
The 6,840-square-foot expansion will not have to meet the design requirements — such as including materials like brick — because the existing building does not meet them either, Council member Lisa Bayley said. “To add that on would make the building look really odd,” she noted. “I think their reason is valid.”
In other news…
• New Red Wing police officer Ryan Sullivan was sworn in as a patrol officer Monday night.
• The City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Chap Achen Jr. to the Red Wing Port Authority for a term ending February 2015.
Monday’s City Council meeting lasted about two hours and 20 minutes. All members were present; Mayor Dennis Egan was absent.
— Compiled by Danielle Nordine, staff writer