Mayor Howe's State of the City Address
The city of Red Wing faced major challenges balancing the 2009 budget. Helping balance this budget was the many volunteers who helped complete projects that have, in the past, been completed by city staff. I want to “thank” the many businesses, service organizations, individuals, families and students who volunteered their time to improve Red Wing. Red Wing is truly blessed and fortunate to have many talented and giving people.
Completion of Downtown Action Plan
In 2009, a Downtown Action Plan committee made up of Red Wing residents and city staff was created to give a strategic vision for Red Wing’s downtown future using focus groups, a questionnaire and the help of a facilitator. The city recently adopted the Downtown Action Plan into Red Wing’s comprehensive plan. This is a major step in setting a vision for the future of downtown Red Wing. Governmental and Downtown organizations, including Downtown Main Street, Inc., the Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce and the Visitors and Convention Bureau, will continue pursuing innovative ideas to support the downtown area of Red Wing.
Public Utility Commission (PUC) Process
The city of Red Wing participated in the PUC process concerning the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plan (PINGP). The Certificate of Need application to extend the PINGP license for an additional 20 years, increase electrical output and adding additional dry casks for storing high level nuclear waste was recently approved. The city was very supportive of the need for the continued operations at the plant. By being involved in the process, the city was given an opportunity to share concerns about funding for public safety as it relates to having a stable funding mechanism. Included in part of that discussion was the permanent storage of high level nuclear waste. The city continues to work with Xcel, the state of Minnesota and Legislators to have the federal government honor its commitment to have a national permanent repository. In the meantime, the city of Red Wing is committed to helping Minnesota develop a funding plan for the safety and management of nuclear waste.
New Central Park Band Shell
The wonderful gift from the Jones Family Foundation gave Red Wing its very own “community living room.” Central Park was packed this summer with community members celebrating the July 4th ribbon cutting, many summer concerts and various events. The events at Red Wing’s new “community living room” will continue to bring the community closer; this is truly a great gift and a great venue! The new band shell also won a national award for the architectural design. These are just a few of the significant events that took place this past year. Our future is fine as we leave 2009. With an eye to the future, Red Wing will be focused on economic development, sustainability, fiber optics, high speed rail, education and living healthy. Again, I look forward to serving you in 2010.