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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

Nov 18

Press Release: City Council Appoints Lee Martie to Vacant Seat

Posted to City of Monticello - Press Releases by Haley Foster

DATE:           November 18, 2022

                      For Immediate Release

CONTACT:  Rachel Leonard

                      (763) 295-2711 | Rachel.Leonard@ci.monticello.mn.us


City Council Appoints Lee Martie to Vacant Seat

 

Monticello, MN – The Monticello City Council has voted on its newest member! At the regular meeting on Monday, November 14, the City Council appointed Lee Martie to fill the current vacant seat. Martie will serve the remainder of Jim Davidson’s term. Mr. Davidson resigned from the City Council in October due to relocation.

Martie was a City Council candidate in the most recent election, and he was also a finalist to fill a vacant seat on the Council in February 2021. He will be sworn in at the next City Council meeting on November 28, and his term will expire on December 31, 2024.

Martie is a long-time Monticello resident and a graduate of Monticello High school. After leaving briefly for college and law school, he returned to the community as he started his career as an attorney.

Please join us in welcoming Lee to the City Council!

Sep 09

Back to School Reminders from WCSO

Posted to City Spotlight by Haley Foster

A Message from the Wright County Sheriff's Office

With change of seasons comes other changes, the Wright County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind all citizens that safe driving is a primary concern. Wright County has numerous construction zones, kids back in school, sun position changes, weather changes, and more people going back to work.

Sheriff Sean Deringer asks all drivers to:

  1. Always keep 100 percent of your attention on the road – try to avoid multi-tasking.
  2. Don’t use your phone or electronic devices while driving.
  3. Wear your seat belt.
  4. Slow down.

The Safest Mode of Transportation for Children

In Minnesota, school buses make at least 10,000 school bus trips daily. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are the safest mode of transportation for children — children are eight times safer riding in a bus to school than any other vehicles.

  •  In Minnesota in 2019, there was one fatality involving a school bus.
  • There were 3,220 traffic crashes involving school buses from 2015-2019. Only 272 school age children who were riding in a school bus were hurt during that time frame. 

Stop for School Buses: It's the Law!

  • State law requires all vehicles to stop for school buses when the bus driver activates the flashing lights and has the crossing arm fully extended.
  • Drivers who violate the law face a $500 fine.
  • Drivers can face criminal charges for passing a school bus on the right, passing when a child is outside the bus, or injuring or killing a child. 

Motorists

Motorists must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that is displaying red flashing lights or a stop arm when approaching from the rear and from the opposite direction on undivided roads. Motorists should slow down, pay attention, and anticipate school children and buses, especially in neighborhoods and school zones. The best way to be aware of your surroundings at all times is to put the distractions away.

Students 

When getting off a bus, look to be sure no cars are passing on the shoulder. Wait for the bus driver to signal that it’s safe to cross. When crossing the street to get on the bus or to go home, make eye contact with motorists before proceeding.

Jan 28

Downtown: Block 52 Redevelopment Concept

Posted to Community & Economic Development by Haley Foster

City Council, Boards, and Commissions Come Together for Block 52 Redevelopment Concept

Blog PicThere’s something special about Downtown Monticello. A place defined by a mix of riverfront, local businesses, people, and opportunities. As part of an ongoing commitment to downtown revitalization, the City of Monticello recently held a special meeting about a potential project that seeks to capture all these downtown elements.

On January 10, members of the City Council, Planning Commission, Economic Development Authority (EDA), and Parks, Arts, and Recreation Commission (PARC) came together with area business owners and city staff to view a concept plan for a proposed multi-use development. The concept was presented by Deephaven Development, LLC, Buchholz Construction, and RHET Architecture. Along with an initial glimpse of the concept, the meeting was an opportunity to provide feedback to the developers as they refine their plans.

What is Block 52?Block 52 Map

A reference to the legal description of the land, Block 52 is the city block at the northwest corner of the Broadway and Pine Street (TH25) intersection. It’s located in the heart of downtown and one of the most visible spots in the city, with over 37,000 vehicles traveling through the intersection each day. 

With these advantages, the block was identified in the City’s Downtown Plan as an opportunity for revitalization. The vision was for a signature development project, bringing additional energy and vitality to the area.

Why did the EDA buy property on the block?

Redevelopment is consistently more complex and expensive than developing vacant land. Cities can encourage redevelopment by helping assemble various properties into a single land tract. This allows developers to efficiently work with a single property owner and take advantage of local financing tools.

To help redevelop Block 52 as a value to the city, the EDA purchased land from willing sellers in the area. Some property owners have opted to remain on the block, adding their energy to the downtown. The EDA was ultimately successful in bringing together what was needed for a feasible project, about 83% of the block.

Is the City working with a private developer?

Yes! Both Block 52 redevelopment and broader Downtown revitalization is anchored by a commitment to public-private partnerships. As the EDA neared completion of property acquisition, they began searching for a developer interested in bringing a project to life. In 2021 the EDA approved a Preliminary Development Agreement (PDA) with Deephaven Development, LLC. The PDA allows both the City and the developer to move through initial project development stages before a more binding development agreement is established. 

Block 52 RenderingProposed Development

At the January 10 meeting, the developer team unveiled their initial concept for a mixed-use development incorporating both residential and commercial spaces. The proposed concept is a five story, L-shaped building along Broadway and Pine streets. The structure steps down to coordinate with the existing historical buildings downtown. While presenting at the meeting, Architect Rhet Fiskness of RHET Architecture highlighted efforts to complement Monticello’s historical roots with building materials that coordinate with existing downtown structures: a combination of red brick, blond brick, and metal accents.

According to Mark Buchholz of Buchholz Construction, the concept has apartments on levels two through four. On the first floor, the concept shows office space on Broadway, retail stores on Pine Street, a restaurant with a patio overlooking West Bridge Park as well as public plaza on the corner of Broadway and Pine Street. Their concept includes underground parking spaces as well as surface parking spaces.

“We want to create something with vibrancy that will be a place where you want to go and hang out,” said Buchholz.

City Feedback for the Concept

As those in attendance reviewed the concept photos and presentation detail, many provided positive feedback to the developers. 

Council members Jim Davidson and Charlotte Gabler appreciated the aesthetic and building materials incorporated in the design. Mayor Lloyd Hilgart agreed, giving the developers an “A plus” on their project. Council member Sam Murdoff also liked what he saw, but indicated he was interested in seeing even more. “I’m willing to help you make the project bigger,” said Murdoff.

Architect Rhet Fiskness joked he would love the opportunity to go bigger but noted this is just the first step of many. “Cities are designed by architecture,” said Fiskness. “The goal of the Block 52 project is to help define downtown Monticello while respecting the neighboring buildings that exist,” he added. Future development could then incorporate this definition into their plans.

Members of the EDA, Planning Commission, and PARC also noted their positive impression of the project, particularly how the proposed concept clearly reflected the intention and vision of the redevelopment effort. 

Building Momentum for a Long-Term Project

After many years of planning for a signature project, there is a lot of anticipation for visible progress. City staff noted the project is still in the early stages, but they’re happy with the feedback from the meeting and the benefits a project like this would bring to the City of Monticello. 

City Administrator Rachel Leonard emphasized, “This is the kind of project that takes several years to accomplish. We’re moving forward, which is exciting, but there’s a lot more to do before people will be able to eat at an outdoor patio overlooking West Bridge Park and the river.” 

Until then, the City of Monticello will continue to support a vibrant downtown with a commitment to this project and the entire downtown.Block 52 Message