Election of council officers, take two: City Council briefs
Although Red Wing City Council had to re-vote Monday on a council president and vice president due to an improper procedure Jan. 2, the results remained the same. Kim Beise was elected president by a 7-0 vote, and Dean Hove was elected vice president by a 5-0 vote, with Peggy Rehder and John Becker voting "present."
Councilmembers Evan Brown and Dustin Schulenberg were elected to the Community Recreation Joint Powers Board. Brown will serve a three-year term, while Schulenberg will complete former Mayor Dan Bender's term, which expires in 2018.
A motion to refer residents' requests to install an ice rink at Audrey Park to the Joint Powers Board led to a spirited discussion. While both council members supported creating new community ice rinks, Hove and Rehder disagreed on the policy to decide rink locations. Rehder stressed strategic locations throughout Red Wing, while Hove believed having at least one rink per ward was the right approach.
At 8 p.m., council went into closed session to discuss the potential sale of the Hi-Park Avenue right-of-way property to Jack and Linda Graves, who live next door to the property in question. After the session, council moved for city staff to draft a purchase agreement for the sale.
In other news
•Police Chief Roger Pohlman recognized citizen Keith Holst for assisting an officer de-escalate a situation with a suspect Dec. 12. Holst received a standing ovation from everyone present.
•Council agreed for staff to move forward with a grant application to help cover the cost of a rail disaster protocol plan and training exercise. The grant would cover 80 percent of the approximately $49,727 cost, with the city responsible for the remaining $12,342.
•Public Works department strongly recommended the renewal of the Institution Community Work Crew contract for the next two years. Council approved the contract renewal.
•Council voted to approve outstanding bills totaling $2,479,107.86.
From the city administrator's desk
•The Red Wing Mountain Biking Organization proposes building a beginner-level mountain biking trail on Memorial Park. Currently, the park does not have a beginner-level trail. RAMBO estimates the trail will cost $25,000, all of which would come from grants and donations.
•The environmental assessment worksheet public comment period for the solid waste permit and potential ash processing facility was extended through Jan. 30.
•Saint Paul Port Authority will begin marketing the Gateway Business Park property, formerly Central Research Laboratory, this month. Red Wing Port Authority and City Council have reviewed all information included in the marketing materials.
Red Wing City Council adjourned at 8:20 p.m. All members were present. The next meeting is 7 p.m. Jan. 23.
— compiled by James Clinton, contributor