Red Wing City Council briefsFrom the meeting of Oct. 22, 2012.
Solar projects OK’d
Red Wing City Council unanimously approved three solar energy projects Monday. Solar energy panels will be installed on Public Works building, Solid Waste to Energy building and Fire Hall.
Staff estimates the three systems will reduce electricity costs by about $578,000 over 40 years.
The modules are manufactured in Minnesota. The project also goes along with the city’s goal of increasing sustainability, Mayor Dennis Egan said. “This really fits nicely in our wheelhouse in terms of where we’d like to move,” he said.
The funding plan works through a company called Newport Partners. There is no down payment. For the first six years, the city will receive a 20 percent discount on all electricity produced by the system. After that the city likely will take ownership of the equipment and reap 100 of the savings.
The plans for the projects were also approved by Xcel Energy and utilize the Minnesota Solar Rewards Program and the Minnesota Bonus Incentive Payment Program.
The solar projects were approved by the council pending the city attorney’s final review of the agreements.
Street requests addressed
The City Council took on four different street and sign requests during Monday’s meeting.
• Members unanimously approved changing three parking stalls in the Seminary ramp to be “compact only” to help with visibility and safety issues.
• They also approved extending yellow paint on the curb and extra few feet near an alley of Buchanan Street to help with visibility and alley access.
• Members voted 5-2 to keep signs on Old West Main Street that don’t allow parking between 2 and 6 a.m. year-round. Council member Peggy Rehder and President Ralph Rauterkus voted against the motion.
• The council also voted 6-1 to look into putting in a painted crosswalk across West Avenue at Putnam Avenue but will talk to the school district first about options for the students who walk. Council member Lisa Bayley voted no.
Council approves airport work
The City Council unanimously approved a transfer of $40,000 for placement of fill and reseeding at the Red Wing Airport.
Among other things, the work would make it possible for new hangar construction. Wes Converse, co-owner of Red Wing Aeroplane, is looking into building a large commercial hangar, Public Works Director Rick Moskwa said.
But even if that does not happen, “it’s an investment on our part any way you look at it,” Council member Peggy Rehder said.
In other news…
• New Red Wing Police Chief Roger Pohlman was sworn in during Monday’s meeting. Retiring Chief Tim Sletten will continue working for the department through the end of the month.
• City Council members continued discussions about working with Xcel Energy on a number of issues including utilizing the company’s burning capabilities for the city’s refuse and mothballing the incinerator. The council unanimously approved hiring a consultant to help with a grant proposal for a waste shredder and to look into other topics and options at the waste campus.
• The City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Andrew Petersen to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority Board for a term expiring Dec. 31, 2015. Petersen will replace Kenneth Bush.
Monday’s City Council meeting lasted about three hours and 20 minutes before going into a closed session to discuss legal action surrounding Mississippi National Golf Links. All members were present.
— Compiled by Danielle Killey, staff writer