City of Red Wing

2009 Mayor's Year In Review

Tuesday, December 29 2009 12:00 AM

mayorMayor Howe's State of the City Address

 Budget Crisis
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.  

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