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Red Wing City Council briefs

Port finances discussed

The Red Wing City Council agreed at its Monday meeting to loan the Port Authority up to $100,000 to fund bulkhead improvements.

The agreement came as part of a larger discussion about the port's financial situation and possible solutions.

One of the top issues for the port financially is the cost for holding the land the organization owns until it is sold to businesses. It also has had less funding from the City Council than in the past, Council member Dean Hove said, and has faced some expensive issues such as river dredging.

Council President Lisa Bayley said both the Port Board and staff and City Council will brainstorm possible solutions and come together later on to talk about ideas.

"Is this a time to make some fairly significant changes," Bayley said members should be asking, encouraging people to keep an open mind throughout the process.

"It took this for us to all sit down and say what are our options," Port Board President Mike Grove said, referring to the bulkhead funding request. "I don't know if there's a quick fix," he added, but said the discussions will be happening throughout the rest of the summer.

More formal loan documents for the bulkhead improvements will be drafted at a later date.

Red Wing Downtown Main Street asks for contribution

Downtown Main Street told the City Council it hopes to hire an executive director to work on implementing the downtown action plan and asked for $65,000 from the city to help fund it.

Downtown Main Street President Dawn Bennett said Downtown Main Street plans to work with other economic development agencies, such as the Chamber of Commerce and Port Authority. She said a director would help put one face to the organization's work.

Bennett added Red Wing's organization is the only one in the state that doesn't get money from its city.

Council President Lisa Bayley said the request will be part of city budget discussions that are ramping up.

In other news...

• City staff reported the final total cost for the June 11 special mayoral election was $17,310.38. That number included supplies, legal notices, election judge wages and other expenses. The total does not include city staff time.

• The City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Christopher Nelson to the Advisory Planning Commission for a term ending Dec. 31, 2015.

Meeting watch

Monday's City Council meeting lasted about four hours. All members were present.

--Compiled by Danielle Killey, staff writer