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.EDA ANNUAL UPDATE: Presentation intro slide

“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.

He 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).


Sep 28

[ARCHIVED] Help Us Name the “Chelsea Commons” Project

The original item was published from September 23, 2021 9:33 AM to October 13, 2021 6:22 PM

Chelsea Commons - Project Name

For nearly a year, the City of Monticello has been developing a plan for a new project encompassing approximately 100 acres of largely vacant land in the center of our community. 

Throughout the planning stages, the name “Chelsea Commons” has been used as a working project title. However, as we prepare to adopt the plan and begin bringing it to life, we need a new name for the area. Your feedback will be a part of how City Council makes their decision.

What is Chelsea Commons?

Chelsea Commons is envisioned as an exceptional neighborhood in which to live, work and play. It combines a mix of commercial services, residential living opportunities, and public open space amenities. Chelsea Commons is centered on a significant recreational water feature and surrounded by a series of interconnected public spaces for discovery. It is also a public-private partnership. It relies on private development, as well as a significant investment in the public infrastructure to create an exceptional amenity that serves both its immediate neighborhood and the community. It is, in short, a central component of Monticello’s vision, and how it sees itself into the future. But it is not the only one. Chelsea Commons fits into the fabric of the City’s significant investments in its downtown, and in the Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park. Each of these “Big Three” elements of the City’s present and future share the role in creation of a new place for the community to come together.

 Chelsea Commons - Concept Drawings

Where Did the Idea Come From?

The “Chelsea Commons” idea is a response to the many changes shaping the world around us. The Plan for the area is influenced by the long-term shifts from 2008 economic recession, the so-called “Amazon effect” on retailing and commerce, and the evolving trends in the ways people choose to spend their time and money. It also arrived at a time when Monticello was preparing the Monticello 2040 Vision Plan. We needed to reimagine how development in this space could best fit into the Monticello community.

Project Planning

The City Council is ultimately responsible for the decisions that will flow from the plan, and they have debated its pros and cons in several forums. Most of those forums have included one or all the City’s commissions, including Planning Commission; Parks, Arts, and Recreation Commission; and the Economic Development Authority. 

The landowners within the district were also a critical voice in the conceptual planning from the very beginning – before Council had even authorized proceeding with the Small Area Plan. It was imperative to city staff that Council understood landowner impressions of the project, as they’re vital partners in accomplishing the project vision.

Next Steps

The Planning Commission is holding a public hearing at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, September 27 to discuss the Chelsea Commons Small Area Plan. Then, at the 6:30 p.m. City Council meeting, Council will consider formally adopting the Small Area Plan. Help City Council name the 'Chelsea Commons' project by selecting your favorite name here!