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Red Wing City Council briefs

Xcel updates council

Solar program changes were the biggest topic for Xcel Energy at the past state legislative session, Xcel director of state government affairs Rick Evans told the Red Wing City Council on Monday. New mandates include requiring Xcel and other investor-owned utilities to produce 1.5 percent of their energy from solar power by 2020.

The requirement is a significant increase over Xcel's current solar power production, Evans said. Xcel is looking at a number of programs including community solar opportunities, solar incentives and others.

Nuclear issues were not prominent in discussions during this session, Evans said, though they could be talked about more when the next session starts in February.

Financial report highlighted

The City Council accepted Red Wing's 2012 financial report Monday.

The report showed the city is generally in good financial condition, said Kyle Meyers of Abdo, Eick and Meyers, which conducted the audit.

Revenues were higher than expected and expenditures lower, the report showed. Most funds maintained good balances.

Some issues included the Port Authority, which is separate from the city but still is in a negative cash position, Finance Director Marshall Hallock said. The marina budget also saw some fiscal struggles.

The Mississippi National Golf Links bond shows up in the city's report as funds owed, Meyers said. Council President Lisa Bayley said while that does not mean the city is necessarily required to pay the bond -- an issue currently involved in litigation -- it still is an ongoing financial issue.

The report was submitted for consideration for a certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting, Hallock said, an award the city has received in the past.

In other news...

• Council members unanimously approved a change to the mayor's salary, making it even with City Council members' pay of $290.40 biweekly. The change was approved as part of the consent agenda Monday.

• The Cannon Valley Trail board will ask the city for a 5 percent increase in its contribution to the trail, Mayor Dan Bender said. The last increase was in 2008, he said.

Meeting watch

Monday's City Council meeting lasted about two hours and 10 minutes. All members were present.

-- Compiled by Danielle Killey, staff writer