The Red Wing City Council Monday night discussed the purchase and sale agreement with Canadian Pacific Railway for the right of way needed for the proposed Riverfront Trail Segment 3.
During the discussion, Red Wing resident Ron Goggin told the council about his concerns about the cost of the trail segment and advised that they not approve the purchase and sale agreement.
“I would like to see you not approve the purchase of this Canadian Pacific right of way to build this trail. I cannot see where we would ever gain $4 million worth of benefit from this” Goggin said.
“There is a lot going on in the city. We have an economy that is crashing. People’s incomes are down and inflation is up. Now is not the time to be looking to see how much money we can spend,” he continued.
Capital Investment Program Manager Ron Seymour presented the item to the council and explained that this has been an ongoing project for several years.
“This trail came out of some early planning projects over 20 years ago to make a continuous trail from the Cannon Valley Trail all the way to Colvill Park,” Seymour said.
“This is also a connection within a state corridor called the Mississippi Blufflands Trail from Lake City to Red Wing. As Mr. Goggin had stated, yes it is an expensive piece of a trail, but it also will be rather iconic,” he continued.
Seymour included that the trail system, once completed and implemented is a tourist draw and a destination for travelers coming to Red Wing.
During the discussion on this item there was back and forth debate between council members and the mayor about whether or not this is beneficial for the city and the community.
The main concerns had to do with the cost of the construction for this trail segment.
Mayor Mike Wilson said, “I’ve been doing a bit of cost analysis with this project. For 6/10 of a mile we will be spending $4 million, you can build an interstate highway for $2 million a mile, in comparison.”
“I’ve been thinking about some alternatives for a trail. We have to have access to our bike trail on the bridge,” he continued.
Council member Dean Hove has been a part of this project while on council for many years and this particular piece of the project has come up before.
“I’ve looked at this for many years, and I’ve always considered this economic development besides just being a trail. This is going to be built with either bond money or grant money, that’s how we do these things,” Hove said.
“With 80% being paid by someone else and 20% by the city and we get to reap the long term benefits, we have been doing that for many years,” he continued.
After a lengthy discussion about the funding and potential alternatives, the council decided to move forward with the agreement. The motion was approved unanimously among the council.
Housing and Redevelopment Authority Director Kurt Keena presented some brief updates on behalf of the HRA to the City Council at the Aug. 23 meeting.
An open house event for the Jordan Towers will be held on Sept. 28. This year will be the first time in several years that tours will be held in person.
“At our Jordan Towers we are excited to once again do our annual open house on Sept. 28, and this year we will be able to do live tours and get people into units, the last couple years we have done virtual tours,” Keena said.
The Housing Choice Voucher program that Red Wing provides has increased the utilization rate and there are 124 vouchers currently in use within the city.
“For the Housing Choice Voucher I’m happy to report that we have made some progress on increasing our utilization rate,” Keena said.
In Red Wing there is a HUD waiver that approved an increase in payment standard to 120% of the Fair Market Rent. This has allowed more families and residents to use the Housing Choice voucher at a variety of facilities in the city.
“We received approval from HUD for a waiver to increase our payment standard, the extra 10% given to us brought in more of the apartments in our market to the scope of the program,” Keena said.
“In the last couple of months we have had around 12-15 families or individuals use that payment standard,” he continued.
Approval of a private use of public property application for the West End Celebration on Sept. 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Approval of a private use of public property application for the Fall Kickoff Block Party, a collaborative effort among Red Wing churches to be held on Sept. 9 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Third Street between Bush Street and East Avenue.
Approval of a private use of public property application and waive fees for the Hispanic Heritage Festival on Sept. 10 in Central Park.
Approval of $20,000 for additional dredging for Ole Miss Marina at Colvill Park.
Approval of a private use of public property for Public Art Liaisons placements for mosaic benches in Pollinator Park.
Approval of entering an agreement with Pepin Ambulance to provide advanced life support intercept.
Approval of a conditional use permit for Red Cottage Montessori to operate a day care center at 2302 Twin Bluff Road.