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Airport update on Council agenda (06/16/2013)
By Chris Rogers

On Monday night, the Winona City Council will consider buying $168,696 worth of wetland credits to replace 10.5 acres of wetlands adjacent to the city airport that would be developed for a planned $12 million airport improvement project. State law requires that two acres of wetlands be replaced for every one that is destroyed by development. One of the ways to satisfy the law is to purchase credits from “wetland banks,” which construct new wetlands and sell credits to developers.

The money for the credits is initially coming from Public Works Department funds, but city staff said that the cost will ultimately be financed — along with the rest of the airport project — from a combination of new city debt and federal funding. A small amount of federal funding has been earmarked for the project, city staff state, but it is unclear at this point whether the city will receive any of the remaining hoped-for federal funding: over $10 million. The council has yet to approve the $1.2 million in borrowing it plans to use pay for the city’s share of the project costs.

$68,000 East End sidewalk replacement

If approved, the city will charge residents over $19,000 for new sidewalks as part of a $68,276 sidewalk, gutter, and curb replacement project planned for blocks east of Mankato Avenue. On Monday, the city council will decide whether to direct staff to begin preparations for the project and set a date for a public hearing for approval of the project.

Over $46,000

for otter fountains

The city has planned to spend $46,832 on otter sculptures/drinking fountains for Lake Park. Artwork for two fountains would cost $23,416 each. The city will also need to pay for concrete and plumbing work; however, estimates of those costs were not provided. The council will decide whether to approve the first of the two fountains, which will replace an existing fountain at the Visitor’s Center on Huff Street.

The second fountain would be placed near Unity Park. City staff selected Lynette Power for the artwork. Power created the otter fountain near the band shell. If approved, the new fountain would be completed in spring of 2014.

Latest annexation

from Wilson Township

Home Federal Business Banking, the owner of a residential property at 1411 Wildlife Lane, has asked that the home become the latest addition to the city of Winona. The property is located across County Road 17 from the Treetops neighborhood. The property is currently part of Wilson Township, but it is adjacent to properties that have already been annexed by the city under a 2005 Orderly Annexation Agreement with Wilson Township. According to city staff, Home Federal Business Banking cited a faulty septic system and desire for city sewer service as the reason for annexation.

The council will decide on Monday whether to grant Home Federal Business Banking’s request and annex the property.

Cheater’s could

lose liquor license

A public hearing will precede a decision on whether to revoke or suspend the liquor license for Cheater’s Bar and/or fine the bar up to $2,000. The downtown bar’s owners admitted to violating city code by allowing patrons to stay after hours and serving them alcohol after hours last month, according to the city attorney.

The City Council will consider all of the above issues at a meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 14, at city hall. 


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