December 15, 2020
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Library Goes Fine-Free
Photos of an open book with library aisle in background
Have overdue or missing item fines kept you away from our public library? If so, we have great news! On Monday, Mayor Dowse proclaimed Red Wing's library is going "fine-free." That means that beginning January 1, 2021, outstanding fees for currently lost items are covered and the Library Board is waiving late fines--permanently. What does the Public Library think of these changes? "The core value of a library is to provide equitable access to information," says Library Director Jessica McGee. "We strongly believe that by eliminating fines we will be encouraging lifelong learning, exploration, and innovation for all of our community members."
Keeping the Lights On
This season is known for being merry and bright, and Xcel Energy wants to help local businesses stay that way. For small and medium businesses affected by COVID-19 or civil rights protests, Xcel Energy may be able to provide assistance.
Businesses who saw a 25% or higher drop in electric load due to the pandemic or civil rights protests may qualify for a 25% discount on charges from January 1 through August 31, 2021.
Learn more and apply on Excel Energy's website.
Bike-Pedestrian Bridge Coming in 2021
What will the bridge look like?
The City Council voted 5-2 Monday night to approve constructing the proposed bike-pedestrian bridge and trail in 2021. The bridge, which will connect the Bay Point Park recreational area to the West End District is slated to be complete in late fall of next year. Catch the Council's discussion and read the full project report. For more information, check out the project's website page for plans, videos, and background.
5-Year Capital Improvement Plan Approved
What is it and why does it matter?
Council members approved the
5-Year Capital Improvement Plan for 2021-2025. Capital improvements are one-time purchases or upgrades like vehicles, equipment, and park improvements. City Council members approve the 5-year plan annually based on their knowledge of the community's needs, plans, and priorities, and you as a resident can give input into the plan throughout the year--especially during budget workshops. Things change each year and are revised as needed. If you have comments or questions, contact Administrative Business Director Marshall Hallock or your Council members and mayor here.
2021 Budget Passes Unanimously
Want to take a look?
Budgeting--it may not seem like an exciting topic, but it's a crucial part of how our city operates. The 2021 Budget was approved by the Council during its Special Meeting on December 7. A lot of consideration went into the challenges of this year and what the coming year may bring, but there is good news as well: the 2021 Collectible Tax Levy is about $500,000 less than it was in 2020. That's a 5% decrease from last year. Want to learn more? The budget, tax levy, and more are available to view.
Start Your New Year's Resolution TODAY
Sustainability Commission Logo in green
If part of your New Year's Resolution is to become more involved in the community, why wait? The Red Wing Sustainability Commission is looking for new members right now. Joining this commission means you'll play an integral part in planning for Red Wing's future sustainability and energy practices. And not just for 2021; we're talking DECADES in the future. Sounds pretty cool, right?
Get started on your application today and consider your New Year's Resolution complete.
CARES 911 Funding - Available NOW
Aerial of Red Wing under CARES Relief program and Port Authority logo
Questions?
Contact Shari Chorney at 651.385.3639.
If you're a local business or non-profit, you need to read this.

The Red Wing Port Authority has $250,000 available through its CARES Relief 911 Grant Program. Local small businesses and non-profit organizations with 30 or fewer employees are eligible for up to $7,500 in grant assistance. Local home-based businesses are eligible for up to $4,000 in grant assistance. Applications are open through December 31, 2020. Visit the Port Authority's website to download the program summary, application, and grant expense spreadsheet.
Terminating the TIF
Graph showing how TIF works
During Monday’s meeting, the City Council terminated TIF #7-1 that supported the development of the Target store location in Red Wing.  What is a TIF? Tax Increment Financing districts can only be created after meeting many conditions, one of which is passing the “but for” test. For example, “But not for the support provided by a TIF, improvements and jobs would not be created in the community.” Now that all obligations have been paid in full, TIF #7-1 that was created back in 2001 can be terminated, placing the TIF properties back on the general property tax rolls. This action will generate over $70,000 for the City of Red Wing specifically and reduce the tax burden on all taxpayers, as it's now spread out to include the former TIF #7-1 properties.
Please Stand By...
Channel 6 is experiencing technical improvements!
The Council Chambers video recording technology is getting an upgrade! Beginning Monday, December 28, 2020, through Friday, January 8, 2021, Channel 6 will be off-line completely while the new equipment is installed. Don't worry though--City Council and Board and Commission meetings will still be available after the meeting through the City of Red Wing’s website. In addition to modernized audio and video technology, Channel 6 will have enhanced broadcast features that will accommodate “hybrid” meetings where some participants are in the Council Chambers, and others join virtually. Live broadcasts are scheduled to begin again after January 8, so don't worry, we'll see you again soon!
All in a Day's Work - Officer Brittney Nielsen
A new police officer has officially joined the ranks of the Red Wing Police Department. Officer Brittney Nielsen took her formal oath of office during Monday's City Council meeting. She joined the RWPD in January 2019 and completed her probation period earlier this year. "We are pleased to welcome Officer Nielsen and her family into our law enforcement family," said Police Chief Roger Pohlman. "And introduce her to the Red Wing community."
Photo of Officer Brittney Nielsen in a patrol squad
Congratulations, Officer Nielsen!
We'll Save You a Seat (at home)
Sheldon Theatre Board Meeting
Meeting virtually via Webex
Tuesday, December 15 at 5:15 p.m.
Sustainability Commission Workshop
Meeting virtually via Webex
Tuesday, December 15 at 5:30 p.m.
Advisory Planning Commission Meeting
Meeting virtually via Webex
Tuesday, December 15 at 7 p.m.
Youth Commission Meeting
Meeting virtually via Webex
Wednesday, December 16 at 6 p.m.
Human Rights Commission Workshop
Meeting virtually via Webex
Thursday, December 17 at 6 p.m.
City Council Meeting
Meeting virtually via Webex
Monday, December 28 at 6 p.m.