The Red Wing City Council packed numerous topics and discussions into the Monday, April 22, meeting including three proclamations by Mayor Sean Dowse, a recognition in saving a life, the implementation of the 10-year strategic plan, and what to do with the Friedrich building. Somehow, the council got everything done in one hour and 44 minutes.

Strategic Plan

According to Michelle Leise, the city's community engagement specialist, this spring is a great time to put together a new strategic plan for three reasons:

• the last time a strategic plan was put together was 2016 and many of those goals were completed or are close to completion.

• the council has numerous members who are relatively new who want to address specific concerns of their constituents.

• the 2040 plan was adopted by the city at the end of February. The 10-year plan will be based on goals laid out in the 2040 plan.

"Adapting a new plan right now I think really shows the community that the city of Red Wing government takes the Red Wing 2040 Plan really seriously," Leise said.

Leise then explained to those in the audience and those watching through Channel 6 that the 2040 plan is a broader document that is meant to focus on what people in the community can and want to do. Meanwhile, the 10-year plan focuses on what city government can focus and act on.

The 10-year strategic plan has been a focus of city staff since mid-February. The draft that the council passed was the third draft created after council workshops and public forums.

"I am so impressed with city staff for how they have managed the entire process and engaged the community," stated council member Evan Brown before he moved to approve the plan. It was passed unanimously.

Life saving actions

One of the first items on the agenda was a recognition of staff and a citizen whose actions saved a life. As the Republican Eagle has reported, Jim Brown had a heart attack while snow blowing on Feb. 24. Nic Swanson, an off-duty firefighter was alerted to the situation via an automatic text. Swanson, who lives close to Brown, went to Brown's home and began CPR. Carissa Rowan, a nurse based in Hastings, drove by as Swanson was performing CPR and stopped to help him.

Draper recognized Swanson, Rowan and the on-duty fire department crew who also responded to the scene.

Brown told those gathered and the council, "I'm just so truly grateful for everybody being there at the right time, otherwise I wouldn't be here."

Friedrich Center

The Friedrich Center is near the history center. According to Brian Peterson, the city's special projects director, the building has been empty for over 10 years. In order for anyone to use the building again, a variety of projects would need to be completed: installing a new roof, installing a new furnace and ventilation, and more.

"To renovate this building will take a substantial investment," Brian began. "But, it's a historical building, it's got probably the best view in town... it's structurally masonry building... so it has good potential."

Staff drafted a request for proposal to sell the building but did not put many conditions on the project in order to get a variety of proposals and ideas for potential projects. Proposals will be brought back to the council members to see if there are any applicants that they want to pursue.

The creation of an RFP was passed without any pushback.


The mayor declared Tim Schmitz Recognition Day on April 29. He was honoring him for providing leadership and coordination for church and youth softball for 50 years.

Other important observances are Police Week May 12-19, because National Peace Officer Memorial Day is May 15, he said, and Arbor Day, April 26.