Danielle Killey is the city reporter for the Republican Eagle, where she has worked since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.
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Red Wing City Council members hope to take a balanced approach to fill a nearly $1.8 million potential gap between incoming money and expenses for 2012. At a budget workshop Monday night, the council pored over a draft of staff recommendations and budget realities for 2012, with an eye even further in the future. This year the city is starting a new process of budgeting for two years at a time instead of one. "We're not sure that it's going to be seamless, but we're transitioning into that," Council Administrator Kay Kuhlmann said.
CANNON FALLS - Amid chants of "one-term president" and "USA," Republicans rallied downtown hours before President Barack Obama was scheduled to speak. During what Republicans called a "taxpayer-funded campaign tour," Obama was slated to speak in Cannon Falls about the rural economy and jobs. But Minnesota Republican Party chair Tony Sutton said that isn't enough. "The president wants to talk about jobs, but that's all it is - talk," Sutton told the crowd. "In Minnesota we're hurting and we're hurting bad," he said.
Red Wing City Council members have been taking the city's proposed strategic plan on a tour throughout the community and to different groups, including a general public meeting Tuesday. City Council members have presented the plan to more than 30 different organizations, boards and commissions, Council President Ralph Rauterkus said Tuesday. Rauterkus said the presentations and feedback likely will last through September before the council officially approves the plan. Tuesday's public meeting drew about a dozen residents along with council members and city staff.
The Winona County Red Cross chapter will take on Goodhue County's branch in an effort to address tight budgets and streamline operations, officials said this week. The Rochester-based Southeast Minnesota Regional Office made the decision to merge the branches based on a variety of factors, including funding. "We're in the same environment everyone else is with the economy and costs continuing to go up year after year," said Melanie Tschida, executive director of the regional office.
The city will look for new bids on a project to rebuild the East Fifth Street underpass after a contractor's estimate came in nearly $756,000 more than anticipated. The Minnesota Department of Transportation, which already has contributed $2.8 million to the project, has agreed to add $200,000. But that still left a more than $550,000 funding gap, which likely would have to be filled by the city.
The City Council on Monday upheld Mayor Dennis Egan's first veto, which came on a building project for Canadian Pacific Rail approved in July. The City Council granted a permit allowing the rail company to build a new office and storage building west of Broad Street and south of the tracks at the July 25 meeting. But Egan vetoed the approval, saying the rail building would be detrimental to developing businesses in the old Fleischmann building. Plans for the location include a restaurant with a deck and river view, Egan said.
Local contractors and homeowners might have to find another place to dump debris if the Red Wing City Council rejects a plan to erect a building to handle construction and demolition materials. In order to meet Minnesota Pollution Control Agency policies, the solid waste campus must have a building - that meets specific requirements - to house construction and demolition materials that come in. Items dumped there include brick, wood and plastics from building and demolition sites.
The Goodhue County Board is moving forward with plans to build a new Health and Human Services building that will replace two older, run-down structures. On Tuesday the board approved a nearly $500,000 contract with Short Elliot Hendrickson that would see the project through construction, though the county could halt the project at any phase.
As the state hammers out the details of a permit for a wind farm project in Belle Creek Township, Goodhue County officials are exploring their options if they find the result to be less than desirable. The state government shutdown has delayed hard copies of documents, including minutes, from the June 30 Public Utilities Commission meeting on the issue, County Attorney Steve Betcher told the Goodhue County Board on Tuesday.
After opening the potential sale of Mississippi National Golf Links to the public for nearly two months, the city of Red Wing received just one proposal to purchase the course. Sharan and Gerald Wendel, who have worked for current operator and MNGL lessee Wendell Pittenger for years, submitted the only answer to a request for proposal before Monday's 4 p.m. deadline, City Clerk Kathy Johnson said.