Red Wing City Council briefsRed Wing City Council briefs from the meeting of Aug. 13, 2012.
City working with historical society
Red Wing City Council voted Monday to refund the Goodhue County Historical Society’s rent for 2012 and discuss plans for the future to help with the group’s financial situation.
The organization is struggling, members said, and had requested the city waive its rent for four to six years so it could get its finances in order.
“All we’re asking for is a little bit of time,” Roseanne Grosso said.
Council member Lisa Bayley proposed that the council take the money for a year’s rent, roughly $9,500, from its general contingency fund to repay the historical society “based on their extreme dire financial needs and some of their building issues.” There have been problems with water leaking in the building, though staff said those are fixed now.
Council members unanimously agreed, and also decided there should be an ongoing conversation about what to do in the future that should include groups such as the county.
“We’re happy to sit down and explore options,” Council Administrator Kay Kuhlmann said, from renegotiating the lease to swapping services to new ideas.
“I think this has to be part of the whole budget discussion,” Council member Peggy Rehder said. “What I don’t want to do is come to any conclusions about what we’re going to do in isolation.”
Paving to move forward
The City Council decided Monday to move forward with paving projects in the Charlson Crest Fifth Addition and Highlands of Red Wing.
The work was supposed to be done by the developer, but the company was foreclosed on before the development was complete. However, when the homeowners bought the property, they were told by the developer that the work was included in the price.
The city was not involved in that agreement, but council members indicated Monday they would be willing to absorb the assessments for properties purchased from the developer. The bank that owns the rest of the lots still would pay its assessments. Several property owners spoke and urged the city not to charge them for the road work.
The cost to the city to absorb those likely would be less than $30,000.
Silica sand work moving forward
Planning Director Brian Peterson presented an overview of the city’s Sustainability and Planning commissions’ silica sand mining report.
The commissions are slated to finalize the report next week. If that happens, the council could make a decision on it later this month. Then the body would have time to implement any ordinance changes before the city’s moratorium expires Oct. 28.
The Goodhue County Board on Thursday will consider an extension of its mining moratorium, and Peterson will be present to encourage adding existing mining operations if it is extended.
The mines in Goodhue County currently are not mining silica sand, but the county’s moratorium is only on new conditional-use permits so there is a risk that could change, Peterson said.
The city does not have the option to extend its moratorium like the county does.
CP Rail not building
Canadian Pacific Rail has decided not to build a new office building they received approval for last year, staff reported. It was a topic of much discussion when it was before the council then.
An email from the company to city staff stated the historical requirements for that area of town are too cost prohibitive, Council Administrator Kay Kuhlmann said. That was surprising because the requirements were known before the issue came before the City Council, she said.
She did note litigation against CP Rail for the proposed building was filed by John Kerwin, who owns the nearby maltery building.
The rail company is discussing whether to renovate its existing building, city staff said.
Lots not sold at auction
An auction last week was unsuccessful at selling residential lots owned by the city on Spring Creek Avenue, staff reported. No bids were made at the auction. The three lots remain for sale, but the City Council decided not to pay to advertise. Instead it likely will post “for sale” signs and list them on the city website.
“I don’t see a problem with continuing to sell these lots,” Council member Marilyn Meinke said. “But I don’t think we should spend a lot of money.”
In other news…
• Council members unanimously approved the appointment of Mark Abrahamson to the Sister Cities Commission for a term expiring Dec. 31, 2014.
• The City Council unanimously approved a brewpub license for Red Wing Brewing Co. as part of the consent agenda.
Monday’s City Council meeting lasted about three hours and 20 minutes. All members were present.
--Compiled by Danielle Nordine, staff writer