City Council: Cold fun and hot tunes

Body: 

City Council was big on events Monday night.

Representatives from Red Wing Downtown Main Street gave an update on Holiday Stroll and Shiver River Day spoke. There also was a brief report on the Big Turn Music Fest.

Megan Tsui and Tracy Hardyman said Holiday Stroll 2017 brought an estimated 22,000 people to downtown, with 55 percent coming from the Red Wing area and 25 percent coming from the Twin Cities.

An economic impact study conducted by the University of Minnesota estimated that $475,000-500,000 was spent downtown on that day alone, Nov. 24, 2017.

They said Shiver River Day, held Feb. 17, 2018, received praise from families who enjoyed being able to get out and do something fun downtown.

Big Turn steering team members Brooke Herling and Chris Warrington gave the council an update on the event's first year. Warrington said that Red Wing police had no incidents related to Big Turn despite it having attracted 1,600 attendees. He said restaurants reported an increase in sales of 91.5 percent over a normal weekend.

Andrew Peterson, owner of Red Wing Bicycle Co., said he enjoyed having his business come together with others downtown and create a strong sense of community.

"I hope people can see the success of this and see that maybe other outside of the box ideas deserve support as well," added Adam Hansen, owner of Rivertown Comics & Games. "Because as long as you lay the table and clear the runway for somebody that has a big idea, and just let them execute it, it can work out in wonderful ways."

Short meeting

Several key people were absent from the Red Wing City Council meeting on Monday, March 12, resulting in a short agenda. Council President Kim Beise, Mayor Sean Dowse and Council member Peggy Rehder were unable to attend.

Vice President Dean Hove led the meeting with remaining Council members Evan Brown, Dustin Schulenberg, Dan Munson and John Becker.

The four voted unanimously to adopt all items on the consent agenda, which included approval of bills totalling $1,002,257.20; approval of Feb. 26 meeting minutes; updating language and terms of the existing limited use permit with MnDOT; awarding an ambulance remount project to Arrow Manufacturing for $164,981; increasing the size limit of the Human Rights Commission to nine members; approving a temporary block closure on West Fourth Street to accommodate the YMCA's Challenge Games on May 3; supporting an appropriation of $2.5 billion in state bonding for parks and trails; and approved advance construction on the TH 61/Spring Creek Road project.

Council members also approved the reduction of fees for water service repair at the home of Miranda Van Hees. Her property on McSorley Street will be part of the city's planned street construction later this year, so Van Hees will only be responsible for the cost of materials at this time.

For full disclosure, Sarah Hansen covers local government for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. She is married to Rivertown Comics & Games owner Adam Hansen, who is mentioned in this story.