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Red Wing City Council briefs

MnDOT details Highway 61 bridge project over Nymphara Lane

Red Wing City Council members heard from a Minnesota Department of Transportation representative about future plans to replace the Highway 61 bridge over Nymphara Lane at the entrance to Colvill Park.

Jeff Bunch from MnDOT told the council that the four-lane bridge could be demolished and rebuilt without creating a detour by reducing traffic to one lane in each direction and tearing down half of the bridge at a time.

Demolition would be conducted in the overnight hours, Bunch said, adding that Nymphara Lane would need to be closed for four nights.

Before the project could begin, City Council would likely need to approve a variance to the city's noise ordinance.

"The demolition would obviously be quite violent and very loud," Bunch said. Construction is expected to begin in about one year, sometime in May 2014.

Community Development Building renamed

The Community Development Building, 419 Bush St., has been renamed the Ignite Building by a City Council vote. The majority of the building is occupied by Red Wing Ignite, a business technology incubator group.

Council Member Peggy Rehder took exception to the motion, saying that renaming city streets after business tenants has proven problematic in the past, for instance Mayo Clinic not wanting to be on Fairview Boulevard.

But Council Members Ralph Rauterkus and Jason Sebion argued that naming a building is a different issue than naming a city street.

"The address of this building is not going to change, it's still going to be 419 Bush," Rauterkus said.

The motion passed by a 6-to-1 vote. Rehder was the only member to vote against it.

Council pledges support for HomeStream program

After weeks of presentations and discussions, City Council voted unanimously Monday to pledge 50 percent of the cost to implement HomeStream, an Internet-based telecommunication service.

The city will commit up to $19,440 to bring a HomeStream pilot program to Red Wing. The program would include six computers to be installed in area churches, senior centers and public spaces, as well as additional camera equipment and support services.

HomeStream is touted as an "easy to use" program that uses touch-screen computers and a simplified interface to help users make video calls and perform other multimedia and communication tasks, according to a letter from HomeStream president Joel Ackerman.

City Council will be looking to community organizations to partner with the city and help champion the HomeStream pilot program.

In other news ...

• Two Cub Scouts from pack 32 participated in a flag ceremony before recital of the Pledge of Allegiance at start the meeting.

• Acting Mayor Lisa Bayley proclaimed Friday April 26 as Arbor Day in Red Wing, and urged residents to plant trees in the community.

Meeting watch

Monday's City Council meeting lasted about three hours and 40 minutes, and included a closed session where members heard an update from the city attorney regarding continuing litigation surrounding Mississippi National Golf Links. All members were in attendance.

-- Compiled by Michael Brun, staff writer