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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The Red Wing City Council voted Monday to dip into its contingency fund - money set aside for unforeseen events - for repairs at two city properties. The funds will go toward repairs at Mississippi National Golf Links and at the Public Works Department's building. In December, the city allocated $45,000 to Mississippi National, anticipating the sale of the course in early 2011.
HRA update The Red Wing Housing and Redevelopment Authority may receive more federal money than anticipated, City Council members learned Monday. Originally the monthly funding for vouchers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development was expected to be lower than the current $57,314. But now HRA Director Randal Hemmerlin said the organization could see an increase to $65,547 per month. However, Hemmerlin said the HRA will move cautiously as cuts are expected again in 2012.
Red Wing is one step closer to establishing a domestic partnership registry after Monday's City Council meeting, where members approved a first reading of the ordinance 6-0. Council president Ralph Rauterkus was absent. The ordinance would allow the city to issue certificates to domestic partners, formally recognizing the relationship. The local law would not give registered partners the same rights as married couples and doesn't require businesses to recognize partnerships or give benefits to their employees' partners.
At its meeting Monday, the Red Wing City Council approved a Request for Proposal for the sale of Mississippi National Golf Links. The RFP was altered slightly from the originally proposed draft. Council member Lisa Bayley, who acted as president Monday night in Ralph Rauterkus' absence, asked to extend the due date for proposals to August 1 rather than the original July 22 deadline. The council also agreed to add language in the RFP indicating it would be open to creative proposals not necessarily involving the purchase of all 36 holes, at the suggestion of Council member Peggy Rehder.
The state Legislature officially approved the potential sale of Mississippi National Golf Links this week, and on Monday the City Council will face two more MNGL issues. On the agenda for next week's meeting is a proposed public sale document and potential budget adjustments to continue maintenance at the course. Legislature passes MNGL bill A bill allowing the sale of Mississippi National to a private entity has now passed both chambers of the Legislature unanimously. Rep. Tim Kelly and Sen. John Howe sponsored bills.
Prairie Island nuclear plant, alongside the United States' 103 other plants, is prepared to handle emergency situations, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The NRC had minor suggestions, such as better emergency training for responders, but said the plant is on track. The agency initiated inspections of U.S. nuclear power plants after a March 11 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan badly damaged one of the country's nuclear plants.
A Red Wing soldier will be laid to rest on U.S. soil 46 years after his death. The remains of Maj. Thomas Reitmann, an Air Force fighter pilot, were recently recovered in Vietnam, where he died in 1965 during the war when his plane was shot during an air strike. Reitmann grew up in Red Wing and graduated from Red Wing High School in 1948, said his cousin Dewey Johnson, who graduated the same year.
An effort spearheaded by an offshoot of the group Save MNGL has surpassed an important milestone. The Committee for Transparent Government organized an initiative to create an ordinance requiring the city to put up for a public vote the sale or purchase of any land assessed by Goodhue County at $1 million or more. Since the paperwork was filed at the end of April, the number of petition signatures has outstripped the 5 percent of registered voters needed to put the ordinance before the City Council.
Failing to appear in court for parking, dog barking or other similar violations currently can lead to a warrant. But a proposed change would shift some city code violations from misdemeanors to petty misdemeanors, updating a process some see as unnecessary and inefficient. "Some offenses just don't rise up to the level of a warrant and arrest," Red Wing Police Chief Sletten told the City Council on Monday. Most petty misdemeanors are payable offenses, meaning violators can pay a fine rather than appearing in court.
Local governments in Minnesota again have the power to grant zoning variances. Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday signed a bill restoring the ability, which had been severely restricted after a state Supreme Court decision last summer. Variances often are used in cases where following the zoning code presents difficulty for property owners.