Feb 01

A Year in Review: 2023 in Monticello

Posted on February 1, 2024 at 12:07 PM by Haley Foster

A Year in Review: 2023 in Monticello2023 Year in Review

2023 was a busy year in the City of Monticello! From new construction and road improvements to public art installations and various grants and awards; here are some of our favorite moments, biggest projects, and highlights from the past year!  

Community & Economic Development 

There were 14 new development projects this year: 5 residential projects, 5 commercial projects, 3 industrial projects, and 1 mixed-use development for commercial and residential use. These various residential projects include: 

  • 287 multifamily apartment units 
  • 139 single-family lots 
  • 60 townhome units (30 townhomes) for seniors (55+). 

Department of Building Safety and Code Enforcement 

  • 1,073 building permits were issued (through Nov. 2023) compared to 903 total in 2022. 
  • 44 single family homes were built in 2023 compared to 33 in 2022. 
  • 109 blight notices were issued in 2023. 

Fire Department 

  • In 2023 the Monticello Fire Department presented three Lifesaving Awards to Firefighters Eric Grant, Josh Samuelson, and Chief Mike Mossey for their roles and assistance in saving someone’s life earlier this year. 
  • MFD celebrated 3 retirements in 2023, all of whom served their community for 20+ years! Thank you to Firefighters John Bauer (20 years), Don Anderson (20 years), and Captain Shawn Leach (28 years) for their selfless dedication and service to Monticello. 
  • We responded to 386 total calls in 2023, compared to 388 in 2022.

Public Works 

  • In 2023, 9 snow events were declared. 
  • Construction season was BUSY in 2023. We had active detours from June-November and sent out 27 detour/construction update alerts (we know it felt like more). 
  • In addition to the various detours, City staff were also busy doing maintenance on potholes and cracks. Our Streets Department went through 1,053 TONS of blacktop this year! 
  • We installed new doors for the City’s compost facility this year and made 946 access cards for residents (1 card per property). 

Parks, Arts, & Recreation 

In 2023 we began Public Engagement for our 2023 Needs Assessment. We were at the Farmers Market, Walk & Roll, and various Riverfest events gathering feedback from the community. In 2024 we will be gathering additional feedback on our Parks, Arts, & Recreation (PAR) Master Plan, using the information from our 2023 PAR Needs Assessment. 

We also completed several projects around the Community Center, including: 

  • Our new Romp 'N' Stomp indoor play structure opened in 2023. It is open for ages 0-12 and features four levels of fun! Including a spiral slide, wobble hopper, and a sit-n-spin. Kid tested and approved! 
  • Artist Parker McDonald added a new mural in the MCC pool arena and touched up his existing work. We also completed annual maintenance and cleaning of the pool, water features, and spas. 
  • Following a crash that damaged the MCC’s Walnut Street entrance in February 2023, we began moving forward with repairs. Construction on the entrance began in October. We were ecstatic to be able to celebrate the re-opening of the entrance just before Thanksgiving. 

MontiArts had a busy year offering over 220 arts opportunities (open studio, art socials, workshops, etc.) for our community! 

  • MontiArts received 5 grants in 2023 
    • $28,000 for Arts Board Creative Support 
    • $20,000 for the East Bridge Park sculpture  
    • $6,400 for the 2023 Glow Fest 
    • $5,000 for the Ellison Park sculpture 
    • $3,500 for the new Downtown Mural 
  • Monticello added 4 new pieces of public art 
    • The mini mural at the Monticello DMV 
    • The Yoga Tree at the Mindful Garden Yoga Studio 
    • East Bridge Park Dragonfly Sculpture 
    • The mural downtown on East Broadway 
  • MontiArts hosted 2 Art Shows featuring local artists: In 2023 MontiArts hosted the Monticello School District’s Art Show, and an art show for local artist Stan Thorud.

2023 Grant Updates and Awards

Funding for Minnesota cities is reliant on property taxes. However, Monticello frequently seeks other funding sources, including state and federal grants, to limit greater impact on local taxpayers. We are incredibly grateful for the support and the additional funding of projects and improvements in our community. We’re also proud of City staff for their efforts and hard work finding and applying for various grants. 

  • In 2020 we were awarded a $500,000 Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Grant for School Boulevard Safety Improvements. In 2021 we were awarded another $500,000 SRTS Grant for Elm Street; we were able to accomplish both projects in 2023. 
  • In January 2023, the City was awarded $200,000 in federal funding from the Safe Streets 4 All (SS4A) program to complete a Safety Action Plan. One of the main goals of Monticello’s Comprehensive Safety Action Plan will be to help identify roadway improvements to increase multi-modal transportation safety to eliminate serious injuries and fatality accidents in Monticello.?Public engagement and a traffic study began in 2023 and will continue in 2024. 
  • In June 2023 the City received $1,000 from the MN Business Finance Corporation (MBFC) for the EDA’s Hospitality Study, which was completed in 2023. 
  • In August and September 2023, the City received two grants for our Parks Turf Conversion Project. $30,000 was awarded by Wright County’s Conservation/Restoration Grants, and $5,000 was donated by Monticello’s Rotary Club. The Turf conversion project was completed in 2023. 
  • In October 2023, the City received a $30,000 grant from the Minnesota DNR for Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) management. The City used the grant to conduct a city-wide inventory of all public trees, including those in the right-of-way. The tree inventory was completed in December 2023.

2023 Grant Awards for Future Projects 

  • In February 2023 the City was awarded a $970,625 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant to re-build County Ditch #33 in Monticello. Ditch 33 was built in 1917 and requires several repairs, estimated to cost approximately $3 million dollars. The proposed project will take place in 2024 and is being coordinated by Wright County, the City of Monticello, and the Monticello Township. 
  • In April 2023 the City received $800,000 from the Transportation Alternatives (TA) Grant for a trail connection on CSAH 39 to Bertram Chain of Lakes (BCOL) Regional Park. The proposed project will take place in 2024-2025 and aims to connect pathways from Elm to Chelsea with Bertram. 
  • In May 2023 we received $11 million from the State of Minnesota for the construction of a future Water Treatment Plant in the City of Monticello. 
  • In June 2023 the City was awarded $485,500 from the Carbon Reduction Grant Program for the future construction of a proposed roundabouts at the intersections of School Boulevard at Edmonson and Cedar; and a $1 million grant from the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program for the future reconstruction of School Boulevard.  
  • In September 2023 the City was awarded $80,580 from Wright County’s Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) for hydration stations to be installed throughout the Monticello Community Center in 2023 and 2024. 
  • In December 2023 the Economic Development Authority (EDA) received $10,000 from the Initiative Foundation for future projects in the Downtown area. 

Thank you to our City Council, our volunteers, committee members, residents, and city staff for making 2023 a great year! We’ve got a lot in store for 2024, and we’re excited to see where the next year takes us! 

Dec 28

City Spotlight: What is the IEDC?

Posted on December 28, 2023 at 1:09 PM by Haley Foster

City Spotlight: What is the Industrial & Economic Development Committee?

The Industrial & Economic Development Committee (IEDC) began in 1975 as the Industrial Development Committee (IDC). It was formed by business owners committed to growing manufacturing and industry in Monticello. These passionate local advocates wanted to lend their support to critical issues focused on creating and retaining business and employment in the city. The IDC later became a board of the City of Monticello – in 2008, they became known as the Industrial & Economic Development Committee.

The IEDC's mission is to advocate for industrial and economic growth within the city by promoting awareness and communication efforts on behalf of the business community. The IEDC is made up of representatives from local businesses, organizations, and residents. Meetings are at 7 a.m. on the first Tuesday of the following months: January, March, May, June, August, September, and November.

Volunteer Opportunity!

We're looking for applicants to fill a vacancy on the IEDC! Applicants must be a Monticello business representative or resident of the City of Monticello. This is one of the few City boards where you are not required to live in Monticello, but you must manage a business within the City to be considered.

The IEDC often works in tandem with the Economic Development Authority (EDA) and offers feedback to the EDA on various economic development opportunities. The IEDC also works with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry to act as liaisons to new businesses in the community. The IEDC also has liaisons from the Monticello Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Wright County Economic Development Partnership, and Xcel Energy on their board. Their main purpose is to keep the business community, economic and industrial growth at the heart of the conversation. Interested in joining? Fill out an application!

Oct 26

City Spotlight: Monticello Animal Control

Posted on October 26, 2023 at 11:56 AM by Haley Foster

Monticello Animal Control Recognized by the Best Friends Network

Animal Control 2022 AwardWe are proud to announce that the City of Monticello’s Animal Control received this award for being a no-kill shelter from the Best Friends Network! This recognition is a result of our department exceeding a 90% saving rate for cats and dogs.

The City of Monticello Animal Control is managed by Randi O’Keefe Krier. She’s committed to making sure Monticello’s Animal Control services prioritize the safety of residents and their pets.

During her annual department update at the City Council meeting on March 27, Randi noted her main goals are to, “continue to work towards faster response time to priority calls, maintaining shelter integrity, and assisting WCSO as needed.”

The City’s Animal Control also contracts with 23 cities and townships in our area to provide impound services. These additional contracts are primarily due to the closure of the North Metro Animal Control Impound Facility.

In 2022 alone, Randi brought in 524 animals. 412 animals from our contracted communities and 112 animals from the City of Monticello.

  • 253 of the animals impounded were dogs.
    • 138 were returned to their owner.
    • 111 were adopted through our partnered rescue groups.
    • Four dogs were euthanized due to dangerous temperaments at their owner’s request.
  • The other 271 animals were cats.
    • 13 were returned to their owners.
    • 257 were adopted through rescue groups.
    • One cat was unfortunately euthanized due to a fatal medical condition.

Animal Control NewsflashWhat Randi says she is most proud of the relationships with animal agencies to rehome and adopt unclaimed animals.

The City of Monticello’s Animal Control average return to owner rate for lost dogs is 55% while the national average is only 22%. With cats, the average return to owner national rate is 2%, here in Monticello ours is 5%.

We’d like to give a shoutout to Randi for her dedication and hard work. She’s saving and bettering countless lives one call at a time, and we’re proud to see other organizations giving her recognition for those achievements as well!