Street name near Mayo to changeMayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing will soon no longer be located on Fairview Boulevard, the City Council decided unanimously Monday.
By: Danielle Killey, The Republican Eagle
Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing will soon no longer be located on Fairview Boulevard, the City Council decided unanimously Monday.
The street where the medical center is located will be renamed Hewitt Boulevard, a move that came after Mayo requested a change to a more “neutral” name.
“A new name that’s neutral allows for future development in the area,” said Tom Witt, CEO of Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing, Cannon Falls and Lake City.
“I don’t think it’s an unreasonable request,” Council member Lisa Bayley. “I think it would be a strong indication of the community’s welcome to this employer to support this.”
Like other council members, she agreed that Mayo should provide the amount of time necessary to residents at Deer Crest and along the road to help make the address changes.
“That would similarly go a long way to demonstrating Mayo’s commitment to the community,” she said.
The health organization, which took over the former Fairview Red Wing Medical Center July 1, originally requested the change only north of Tyler Road, but city staff recommended changing the entire street to prevent confusion and make it easier for emergency response.
Witt said Mayo would be willing to provide up to $100 per resident for documented costs incurred while making the address change and would give as much staff time as needed to residents to help with the changes. The company also will pay for new street signs.
“That’s our commitment,” he told the council.
Mayo had offered up to 40 hours of staff time and up to $50, but council members asked them to up that commitment before approving the change.
The new name won’t go into effect until Jan. 1 so as not to interfere with the election and to allow time for necessary changes.
During neighborhood meetings and from other feedback, it seemed Deer Crest and other Fairview Boulevard residents weren’t especially enthusiastic about the change, Planning Director Brian Peterson said. One Deer Crest resident spoke at Monday’s meeting, urging members to leave the name as-is.
Council members also were concerned, but were happy with Mayo’s commitment to help with any address changes.
Others also supported the name change because there also is a Fairview Lane in Red Wing, so the shift could reduce confusion.
Peterson said the post office would continue to deliver mail addressed to Fairview Boulevard.
Mayo had suggested the name Asper Boulevard, after the family that owned the farm where the medical center is now located. But the council preferred something with a more historic and relevant connection, as suggested at a Planning Commission meeting.
Dr. Charles N. Hewitt has strong ties to Red Wing and the medical community, they noted. He was originally from Vermont but moved to Red Wing after serving in the Army during the Civil War. He helped craft legislation to establish the state’s health board, signed into law in the spring of 1872, and served as its first executive secretary.
In 1890 Hewitt established a station near his home to supply smallpox prevention vaccine and remained active in medicine throughout his life.