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Planning for Red Wing's future

New Red Wing City Council President Dean Hove, a longtime council member, said infrastructure is a top priority for the coming year. (Republican Eagle photo by Danielle Killey)

The city of Red Wing is set to tackle key infrastructure needs in the coming years, and new City Council President Dean Hove said that will be his top priority while leading the body.

“That’s the stuff that the citizens don’t see, but they use it every day,” Hove said. The city is historic and the infrastructure, such as sewer and water pipes, reflects that. Some are more than 100 years old, Hove noted.

With the chance to harness funds from increased tax capacity, largely due to improvements at Xcel Energy’s Prairie Island nuclear plant, the council can make progress on the long list of infrastructure needs, Hove said.

“We have a unique opportunity to get this done” in the next decade or so, Hove said. If the projects and payments are structured correctly, they won’t leave debt for future generations, Hove said.

A second priority for Hove personally is a second fire station location on the west side of town. He said it is important for public safety.

Ambulance calls make up much of the fire department’s work, Hove said, and response time is especially critical when someone calls in suffering from a stroke, heart attack or other medical emergency.

The city already owns land for the second station, which also would house some law enforcement staff. “I’d like to see the groundbreaking within the next two years,” Hove said of the second public safety site.

Another project that has been in the works for some time is the reconstruction of Highway 61/Main Street. Construction is scheduled to begin this spring.

The biggest push on the council’s part likely will be to make sure people know the Main Street and downtown businesses are open during the two-year construction project, Hove said.

Construction will be difficult and disruptive at times, Hove said, but “It will be better in the future” when the road is complete.

In recent years, major issues for the council have included the city’s incinerator and Mississippi National Golf Links.

Those are largely behind them for now, Hove said, though there is still work to be done at the solid waste campus now that the incinerator is no longer operating.

Hove said working with Red Wing Municipal Golf Corporation at MNGL has been a success so far. “I’m very pleased with the way the golf course has turned out.”

Hove, who has served on the council for 12 years, was re-elected in November after running unopposed for his seat. On Jan. 6, council members chose him as president with a 4-3 vote over previous president Lisa Bayley.

Hove said as president he hopes to shorten City Council meetings so people don’t lose focus and work still gets completed.

“You can get a lot of business done and people are more attentive,” he said.

Danielle Killey

Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.

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