Monticello City Council Highlights - July 26, 2021


July 26, 2021

EDA Annual Update

Economic Development Manager Jim Thares presented the annual Economic Development department update.

“The 2020-2021 workplans included six components: downtown redevelopment was the top goal or priority for the EDA. Promoting industrial and commercial development was the second priority, housing development was third. The IEDC’s priorities were labor force development and business retention and expansion. In 2020 the CARES Act came to the city and money was provided to the EDA and that’s where the COVID-19 emergency response efforts were established,” said Thares.

EDA ANNUAL UPDATE: Presentation intro slideHe then elaborated further explaining that Block 52 was the top priority of the Downtown Redevelopment work plan as well as the Façade Improvement Program. One highlight was that the façade improvements to the Agosto building were completed in late 2020, with three new applications submitted this spring/summer, all of which are on Block 35.

According to Thares, there were 38 EDA CARES Act grants approved for $5,000 each. Eight additional City CARES Act grants were also approved for restaurants and microbreweries in the community.

Riverfest Recap

Riverfest 2021 was a huge success according to Riverfest City Liaison Tom Pawelk.

“Overall, it was a good turnout. Second highest gross sales that the Riverfest committee has ever seen, so that’s pretty good. Record beer sales… and duck adoptions were basically sold out, so that’s 5,000 ducks sold,” said Pawelk.

The first night [Thursday] kicked off at Pioneer Park, with a Monticello firefighter showing up strong for a second year in a row and winning the pie eating contest. Mayor Hilgart teased that may only be because he’s “not invited back” to the pie eating contest after winning twice.

“Friday night, the talent show had 22 acts and we followed it up with a wonderful fireworks display, sponsored by the City of Monticello. The Lions Bean Bag tournament on Saturday had 49 entries,” said Pawelk.

Pawelk added that while Sunday’s parade was shorter than past years, with no royalty candidates or visiting royalty; the shorter parade might have been preferable given the heat. He joked that the kids didn’t seem to mind because they still got plenty of candy.

Online Building Permits

City of Monticello is now offering online building permits for permits that do not require a plan review. Visit our website to check it out! 

Council Approval

  • Council approved Special Event Permit
    • City Council approved a Special Event Permit and temporary liquor license for the Rotary’s Taste of the Towns event. The event will be held on Thursday, September 16 in the commuter lot on Deegan Ave. 

  • Council approved new restrooms for Ellison Park
    • City Council approved the purchase of modular restrooms to replace the existing restrooms at Ellison Park. The project will also include ADA improvements in the area around the bathroom.
  • Council approved proceeding with bids for DMV relocation
    • City Council approved notifying the State of Minnesota of intent to move the DMV from its current location to the Prairie Center building at 118 W. 6th Street. Council also approved proceeding with bids for the improvements necessary to remodel the first floor of the building for the DMV. City Council will consider officially ordering the improvements at a future meeting.


Citizens are welcome to attend City Council, Planning Commission, and Economic Development Authority meetings, but we understand that attending in person is not always an option. As an alternative, we offer the following options to stay engaged with your local government:

  • Meetings are broadcast live on cable channel 12 (FiberNet and TDS subscribers) or channel 180 (Charter subscribers).
  • Meetings are streamed live online. View the live stream on the Monticello Live Stream website.
  • Meetings recordings are available online to watch when it's convenient for you. View the meeting recordings on the Monticello Live Stream website.
  • Meetings are rebroadcast throughout the week on cable channel 12 (FiberNet & TDS subscribers) or channel 180 (Charter subscribers).


Jul 20

[ARCHIVED] Press Release: Xcel Energy Update About Water Leak at Monticello Nuclear Plant

The original item was published from July 20, 2023 12:36 PM to September 28, 2023 11:10 AM

xcel energy logoXcel Energy Media Relations
414 Nicollet Mall, 401-7
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 215-5300

No health risk as monitoring at Monticello plant shows possibility small amount of leaked water has reached edge of Mississippi

Tritium remains undetected in river water

MINNEAPOLIS (July 20, 2023) – Monitoring systems at Xcel Energy’s Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant have determined that groundwater containing very low levels of tritium may be present near the edge of the Mississippi River. In the river water itself, no tritium has been detected, despite increased water sampling. The closest sample to detect tritium is about 30 feet from the river, and detected about 1,000 picocuries per liter, far below Safe Drinking Water Act standards, or below 20,000 picocuries per liter. Any presence of tritium in the river would be well below the Safe Drinking Water standard and likely at levels indistinguishable from what occurs naturally in the environment.

The low concentrations of tritium continue to pose no risk to public health, safety, or the environment, as confirmed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Xcel Energy continues to work closely with the NRC, Minnesota Department of Health, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Members of nearby communities can safely continue to drink from their usual water supply and participate in water-based activities like fishing and swimming.

Xcel Energy has increased the number of monitoring points in the river water as well as the pumping rate and storage capacity for groundwater on-site. The company is adapting its groundwater recovery strategy as conditions change to best retrieve the leaked tritium. The company is investigating further containment measures to prevent as much tritium-impacted water as possible from reaching the river.

In March, Xcel Energy permanently fixed the source of the tritiated water leak at its Monticello plant. The company has expanded its monitoring and groundwater management capabilities to better track and remediate the water. To date, the company has pumped over 2.7 million gallons of groundwater for storage and reuse and has recovered over 75% of the tritium that was released. Most of the remaining tritium remains on-site closer to the plant structures. Activities at the site are being implemented to return all monitoring locations at the plant to Safe Drinking Water Act standards, or below 20,000 picocuries per liter. If at any point Xcel Energy detects tritium above Safe Drinking Water Act standards in river water, the company will notify regulators and the public.

“Since the day we first confirmed a leak of tritiated water was present at the plant, we have worked around the clock to isolate and recover the affected groundwater,” said Chris Clark, president of Xcel Energy–Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. “We take our responsibility for providing safe, reliable and clean energy to the community seriously, and will continue to work closely with state and federal regulators to ensure a thorough cleanup.”

Tritium is commonly created in the operation of nuclear power plants but also occurs naturally in the environment. It emits a low-energy radiation similar to everyday materials people use and foods they eat and is only harmful when ingested in large concentrations.

Learn more about progress to recover and treat water released from the plant.

# # #

DATE:             July 20, 2023
                         For Immediate Release

CONTACT:      Haley Foster
                          (763) 271-3202 |

A Statement from the City of Monticello

As a community along the Mississippi River, we understand the update from Xcel Energy will be particularly concerning for our residents and those who live and recreate along the river.

Xcel Energy, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) have been monitoring the situation and sharing updates over the past several months with our community. According to Xcel Energy and state health officials, our community and others in the region can continue to safely participate in water-based activities on the river like fishing and swimming.

As a reminder, Monticello’s public water system operated by the City of Monticello has been unaffected by the leak at Xcel, we do not get our drinking water from the river. The leak occurred outside of Monticello’s Wellhead Protection Area, the specific area surrounding our public water supply that contributes groundwater to municipal wells.

We encourage members of the public to use the resources and contact information provided by Xcel Energy.

Here are the contacts available if you have any additional questions or concerns:

Additional resources and FAQs can be found on the City’s website or on Xcel Energy’s Resource Page.