The Red Wing City Council approved the downtown tax increment financing plan at its Nov. 28 meeting. With this they have approved the creation of a TIF district for upcoming redevelopment projects.
Community Development Director Kyle Klatt provided an overview presentation of the TIF plan that has been discussed at length by the council and the Port Authority during workshop meetings.
The presentation included an outline of the TIF district.
“The TIF parcels that are included are 312 and 314 West Fourth St., and it includes the vacant parcel that was formerly tied to the Hallstrom’s site at 317 Bush St.,” Klatt said. “The developer is proposing to include the Hallstrom’s building in the TIF district with a plan to renovate the upper floor apartments.”
The council voted unanimously to move forward with establishing the district over a portion of Block 27.
Some community members commented both in favor and against the approval of the TIF plan.
Community member and business owner Rick DeVoe supported the project.
“I think the important thing that I’m trying to get at is that there is not an outlay on public funds, and I think that is important for people to know,” he said.
DeVoe owns Fair Trade Books downtown Red Wing near the proposed project. He is in support of the business this project may bring to the downtown area.
“I think downtown and Red Wing is poised to take things to the next level if we can support developments like this,” he said.
One community member expressed concerns about TIF funding.
“I have mixed feelings because I tend to regard TIF as corporate welfare. It is good to know there won’t be an outlay at the initiation of this, but it does mean that we will not receive as a city that we would have if it wasn’t a TIF district,” Carol Overland said.
The TIF district is put in place for the redevelopment of the Block 27 project. The project will allow for construction of 36-unit residential rental housing.
“I want to emphasize what Kyle said, this is the most significant downtown housing development in 35 years,” council member Evan Brown said. “I think that is important to recognize because that is an absolute reason why TIF is needed in this case, and we need a lever to move the needle and without it we won’t get there.”
The vote passed during the meeting is to approve the TIF redevelopment district, the project is not approved at this time. There will be further discussion and approvals for the apartment building project.
Hiawatha Valley Transit
Hiawatha Valley Transit representatives presented a reroute plan to the council.
“We have been working the past few months on a reroute, our current routes haven’t been redone in over eight years,” Tracy Borgschatz from Hiawatha Valley Transit said.
“With businesses growing and increased traffic we are having a hard time staying on time. So we needed a reroute to make our system a little more reliable for individuals who depend on us,” she continued.
Currently Hiawatha Valley Transit runs three routes five days a week and those routes do not have weekend service.
The organization has one demand response which is called Dial-A-Ride that the community can use during the week and on weekends.
They also have a River Run route that runs from Wabasha to Red Wing five days a week.
The updated routes will go live on Jan. 2. Until then, Hiawatha Valley Transit will be updating their website and information materials with the new routes.
“We will work for the next 30 days to get our updated route signage … new brochures out and the website updated. We will meet with local partners that utilize our service and we will go live with this on Jan. 2,” Borgschatz said.
The council was Introduced to new Red Wing patrol Officer Karter Gorney and Council President Becky Norton administered the oath of office.
Approved motion for letter of agreement between city of Red Wing and Xcel Energy- Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant.
Accepted donations to the Red Wing Fire and Ambulance Department in the amounts of $1,000 and $500.
Presentation from Fire Chief Mike Warner about the Lexipol Policy System.
Approval of small vehicle passenger service, tobacco, pawnbroker, junk dealer and solid waste haulers license renewals for 2023.
Appeal of hangar lot lease renewals for James Cushing.
Approval of contract for legal services with Rupp, Anderson, Squires, Waldspurger & Mace.
Board and Commission reappointments for Maggie Cichosz, Molly Sutton Kiefer, Tao Peng and Shawn Niebeling.
Public Hearing and approval of a resolution for improvement and preparation of plans for a segment of East 7th Street by reconstruction.
Approval of ordinance to create a Percentage for the Arts policy. The ordinance passed with a 5-2 vote.