Red Wing City Council briefsBriefs from the Red Wing City Council's Jan. 28, 2013, meeting
Red Wing City Council
Apartment building discussed
The Red Wing City Council will soon consider action on a proposed 60-unit apartment building on Old West Main Street. Council members addressed the issue at Monday’s meeting but voted to table it for further discussion and possible action at its next meeting, scheduled for Feb. 11.
One of the major issues for the council was parking. The city requires two parking spots for every unit. The apartment plan from Northstar Development Partners includes 60 underground parking stalls and 40 off-street stalls. The developer is asking for a variance to count a number of on-street stalls in front of the proposed site toward its total.
Council members were concerned about what that would mean for overnight parking, street cleaning and spots for other businesses and establishments in the area.
The next two weeks can be used to work on some of the concerns, council members said.
The three-and-a-half story apartment building would be on the current site of the Sears store and vacant building on Old West Main Street. Staff said the Sears owner had said the store likely would move elsewhere in Red Wing and not close, though moving could be cost-prohibitive.
The Planning Commission recommended approving the conditional-use permit for the project.
Charter changes proposed
The City Council is considering a change to the charter to allow people who live in the Red Wing School District but outside city limits to serve on some commissions.
The amendment would allow those members on the Sister Cities, Sustainability and Human Rights commissions. Those are commissions that typically work closely with the school district, Charter Commission chair Chris Schrader said.
The change also would allow nonresidents on the Airport Board as long as they make up less than a majority of the quorum.
The council could lay out more specific rules in the future under this amendment, Schrader said, but wouldn’t have to change the charter again.
A public hearing on the proposed amendment is set for the Feb. 25 City Council meeting.
Stormwater study planned
A company soon will evaluate Red Wing’s stormwater tunnels and prioritize needed work.
The City Council approved an agreement with CNA Consulting Engineers to evaluate the tunnels, create a prioritized list of recommendations and provide cost estimates for the work.
There are about three miles of those tunnels in Red Wing, Deputy Public Works director Bob Stark told the council. Many are in disrepair.
“We have a number of major issues,” Public Works Director Rick Moskwa said. “We have a significant amount of pipe 100 years old or better.”
They are made of different materials and face a number of problems, from risk of collapse to crumbling walls.
“We need someone to come in and help us to take the right approach,” Stark said.
It will take about eight weeks to complete the entire project, Stark said. The estimated cost is $55,000.
Tax exemption OK’d for senior center
The City Council unanimously approved a property tax exemption for the Red Wing Area Senior Center in its new home at the Pottery Place Annex. The exemption applies only to the area that houses the center.
Council Administrator Kay Kuhlmann said the estimated taxes paid on the property are about $7,500, and that is split among the city, county and school district.
“Unlike most municipalities, Red Wing doesn’t contribute anything in our budget to our senior center,” Council President Lisa Bayley said when supporting the exemption.
The City Council unanimously approved a number of appointments at Monday’s meeting:
• Ann Seymour to serve a second term on the Charter Commission expiring Feb. 28, 2017;
• Dan Bender to the Advisory Planning Commission for a term ending Dec. 31, 2015;
• Quinetta Brown to the Library Board for a term ending Dec. 31, 2015;
• Lisa Wilson to the Library Board for a term ending Dec. 31, 2015;
• Mayor Dennis Egan to the High Speed Rail Commission.
Council member Dean Hove was appointed on a 5-2 vote to the Port Authority Board over Council member Ralph Rauterkus.
Former Council member Dan Bender was approved 6-1 to serve on the Joint Recreation Board. There was some concern about someone serving on two boards, although the Joint Powers Board is not a city board or commission.
Monday’s City Council meeting lasted about three and a half hours before going into closed sessions to discuss Mississippi National Golf Links litigation, the council administrator’s performance evaluation and labor contracts. Mayor Dennis Egan was absent.
— Compiled by Danielle Killey, staff writer