RED WING -- Three projects that have been discussed by the city and residents for years took steps toward completion during Monday's City Council meeting.
Sturgeon Lake Road overpass
The construction of a Sturgeon Lake Road overpass was first discussed by the City Council in February 2005. About 15 years later, Gov. Tim Walz signed a bonding bill that included the remaining funding needed for the project.
On Monday, the council unanimously amended the project contract between the city and Kimley-Horn. This contract was originally written in May 2011 and expired in 2016 while the city was seeking funding for the project.
Council members voiced their pleasure in seeing this project move forward.
“This is way too long in coming and we’re here so let’s get 'er done," Council member Evan Brown said.
Council Vice President Dean Hove, a lifetime resident of Red Wing and the longest serving member of the council echoed, Brown: “I agree, it’s been a long time coming. A year ago I don’t think I would have, I didn’t see it coming yet.”
Construction on the project is scheduled to begin in early 2022.
John Rich Park fountain
An anonymous group of donors has come forward to pay for the full restoration of the fountain in John Rich Park. Public Works Director Rick Moskwa explained during the Monday meeting, “There are several phases that we have to do to move the project forward. The donor would like the work to be done in 2021 If possible. The first phase we need to complete the construction documents, and they'll be used in the second phase for the bidding phase and the third and final phase would be construction hopefully completed this year.”
Council President Becky Norton noted that the council toured John Rich Park a couple of years ago and discussed the restoration needed for the fountain.
“I was hoping that we could get some community involvement or some other ways to restore it," Norton said. "I’m thrilled with the potential of this project.”
Old hospital stairs
The same group of donors offering fountain restoration funds is also hoping to cover the cost to restore and/or reconstruct the Fourth Street stairs leading to the former City Hospital and the Goodhue County History Center.
Unlike the John Rich fountain project, a feasibility study has not been completed for this project. The council unanimously voted on Monday to accept a proposal for a feasibility study using $9,500 from the general fund contingency.
Hove recalled that as a child he frequently climbed the stairs to get to friends’ houses. He said of the stairs, “they were kind of wishy-washy back then.”
Hove added that he supports the city paying for the feasibility study: “If you look at how much money is being donated to the city for this project and the John Rich project, I think that’s pretty minor in the whole scope of things."