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Workshopping 2019: Red Wing City Council plans priorities

Red Wing City Council members, city staff, the fire and police chiefs, and heads of groups such as the Sheldon gathered for the annual workshop on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 25 and 26. The workshop covered a variety of topics, from starting to think about the 2020 budget to ranked- choice voting and reports from department heads about how 2018 went and what they will be focusing on in 2019.

No decisions were made, but the workshop gave staff ideas of what to prepare to send to the council and residents what the priorities for the council will be this coming year.

The 2040 Plan

City staff members have been working on the 2040 Plan for a couple of years. Staff have talked to residents, business owners and tourists to find what people want to see in Red Wing. Now, the plan is almost ready to be sent to the council and the focus is shifting from putting this plan together to carrying it out.

Staff members Michelle Leise and Brian Peterson talked about the plan at the workshop. They explained that they are thinking about creating a small committee of residents to help lead the implementation.

"The plan won't be implemented if we don't involve all of the community partners in one way or another," Peterson said.

Peterson and Leise went on to say that it would be a good idea to have an annual meeting where residents can share and learn about what has been done to achieve the numerous goals in the plan. This would also help residents learn about groups, programs and events that they could be a part of that they may not know of otherwise.

Council member Becky Norton emphasized this idea of sharing the happenings of the community. She explained that many people do not know of all of the communities within the community of Red Wing.

Though the implementation team has not yet to be created, there are some steps being taken to achieve the 2040 goals. The tax-increment finance project to build two housing developments, for example, will help achieve more housing. Staff also reported that private organizations, such as churches, have said they will shape some of their plans and actions around goals laid out in the plan.

Youth council

Cayenne Korder and Alainn Hanson, two Red Wing students, presented the work that they have done to create a youth council in Red Wing. The two students have worked with Mayor Sean Dowse and Administrative Business Director Marshall Hallock to lay the groundwork for this council of students in grades 8 to 12.

Korder and Hanson will speak with teachers and students at Red Wing High School. Applications will be due in mid-February and the plan is to hold the first youth council meeting in March or early April. Students will be given the opportunity to learn about local government by joining the council, holding positions such as president and treasurer, and meeting in the City Hall council chambers.

The students are working to put all of the details. "We are building the plane as we fly it," Korder said.

City Council President Dean Hove told Korder and Hanson, "I'm impressed, I like this... I think you're on the right track here."

The Friedrich Building

Peterson presented the council with a brief history of the Friedrich Building before a discussion of what to do with it. Currently, the city owns this building that sits next to the Goodhue County History Center. According to Peterson, the building is just a shell, nothing else is salvageable. He also explained that there is probably asbestos, lead paint and other hazardous materials that would require an expensive procedure to remove.

Currently the building is "mothballed." However, Peterson reported that the roof is leaking, meaning the building can no longer be left in mothballs. If it is left untouched for too long, Peterson fears that the roof will cave in.

The council decided to put out an RFP to see if there is any interest in the property.

Currently the neighborhood is zoned for two-family housing. Depending on what developers want to do with the building, the council may need to change the zoning.

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