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The road remains the same

Old Tyler Road runs over a hill and runs into a dead end at the Falconer Winery. A proposed addition at the winery could bring more traffic, but some residents and city officials questioned whether the road can handle it.

Old Tyler Road, for the foreseeable future, will remain the same - gravel, dusty and narrow.

The road's shortcomings came to the attention of city officials when winery owner John Falconer - whose operation sits at the end of the road - sought a permit to construct an outdoor facility where he plans to host weddings and concerts.

The city granted Falconer that permit two weeks ago and the additional activities are expected to attract more people to the winery, which already draws significant traffic.

Some area residents and city officials complained that Old Tyler Road is already unsafe and won't be able to handle the increased traffic.

Red Wing City Council members had hoped to incorporate road improvements into a developer's agreement between the city and Falconer. It could have forced Falconer to bear part of the cost along with the city, as the agreement is a condition of his permit.

Council members, however, were repeatedly vexed during their regular meeting Monday trying to write improvements into the development agreement.

"What makes this so tough is that it's a leap frog," Ron Rosenthal, Red Wing engineering director, said.

The underlying problem is any improvement that could be outlined in the agreement would in all likelihood be temporary, Rosenthal said.

That's because local developers have expressed interest in creating subdivisions on both sides of Old Tyler Road. But when that development might occur is anyone's guess.

Council members became hesitant to order improvements - such as widening and paving the road - that would in all likelihood be torn up in the future.

"There's quite a conglomeration of things we've got going on," Council President Mike Schultz said, noting other concerns: funding methods, right of way and city standards.

Ultimately, the council approved an agreement that doesn't require paving or widening the road, as some council members had suggested. The agreement does require Falconer to pay for extra sprayings to control dust.

It is not known if Falconer will sign the agreement. He couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday.