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).


Oct 09

[ARCHIVED] Press Release: Highway 25 closes in Monticello for railroad track repairs Oct. 16–19

The original item was published from October 9, 2023 2:17 PM to October 12, 2023 10:33 AM

DATE:             October 9, 2023
                         For Immediate Release

CONTACT:      Jenny Seelen
                         MnDOT Communications—Central Region, District 3
                          (218) 820-6820 |

Highway 25 closes in Monticello for railroad track repairs Oct. 16–19Figure 1 - Hwy 25 Detour for RR Work

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway will be closing a section of Highway 25 to install updates and make repairs at the railroad crossing in Monticello.

Highway 25 will close in each direction between Fourth Street and Sixth Street from 6 a.m. Monday, Oct. 16, until Thursday evening, Oct. 19.  Here’s what will occur:

  • Northbound Highway 25 will reduce to one lane and detour along East Sixth Street, Cedar Street and East River Street.
  • Southbound Highway 25 will reduce to one lane and detour along West Fourth Street, Walnut Street and West Sixth Street.
  • Semi-trailers and wide-turning vehicles will use a signed truck route along Broadway Street East (Wright County Road 75) and Interstate 94 in Monticello.

A portion of West Broadway Street (Wright County Road 75) is closed to through traffic for our Downtown Improvements Project, however East Broadway Street remains open.

We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause, and we ask for your patience and understanding of higher traffic volumes during the temporary closure.

We’re asking the public and those who commute through Monticello to consider other routes or travel at off-peak time frames to avoid delays. MnDOT will also be asking commuters to consider alternate Mississippi River crossings at Highway 24 Clear Lake to Clearwater or Highway 101 Elk River to Rogers.

The schedule is led by the BNSF Railway and is subject to change.

If you have any questions or concerns about the project, please contact Jenny Seelen, MnDOT Communications at 218-820-6820.

For real-time travel information on Minnesota highways, visit or get the free smartphone app at Google Play or the App Store.Figure 2 - Truck Detour Map Hwy 25 Closure