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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In an effort to help bolster diminishing city coffers, Red Wing City Council is considering fees on gas and electric utilities in 2012. The fees would run homeowners a total of $1.75 per month, bringing in more than $346,000 for the city. "It's a way of taking costs and spreading them across all property owners in the community," Council Administrator Kay Kuhlmann said.
Red Wing staff might have found a way to avoid dumping construction and demolition material collection services. The solid waste campus is required to meet Minnesota Pollution Control Agency policies and regulations on the physical setup to provide the service, and the operation needed to make some changes to comply. A project proposed in July would have met the requirements, but cost more than $450,000 - exceeding the budgeted $125,000. But the new proposal brought to the City Council on Monday would likely come in at even less than the budgeted amount.
After more than a year of negotiations and discussions, Red Wing City Council is nearly ready to vote on a new franchise contract for Charter Communications. "This has been going on for a while," Council Administrator Kay Kuhlmann acknowledged. "We're pleased we have a final draft to submit to the council for a first reading." The ordinance renewing the franchise was introduced at Monday's meeting, but still needs a second reading and vote from the council - planned for the Sept. 12 meeting.
WELCH -- I turned off Highway 61 onto a winding road surrounded by farms and trees. Enjoying the sunny, mild summer afternoon and calm scenery, I wasn't in any hurry.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has officially cited Prairie Island nuclear plant for a safety violation regarding battery chargers, officials said Wednesday. The "white" rating, indicating low to moderate safety significance, stems from an issue discovered in Unit 1's safety-related battery chargers.
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.