Concept plan from the city of Winona,  BKV Group, ISG  .   The city of Winona’s latest conceptual plan includes a police-fire station on the current East Rec Center site and a community center at the site of St. Stanislaus Elementary School.

Concept plan from the city of Winona, 

BKV Group, ISG

 

The city of Winona’s latest conceptual plan includes a police-fire station on the

current East Rec Center site and a community center at the site of St. Stanislaus Elementary School.

by CESAR SALAZAR

 

The Winona City Council will soon be taking public input for the proposed community center/public safety building project.

City Council members discussed possible dates for input for the project before ultimately settling on the council meeting on July 5. The council also voted to set up an online public input form before June 17.

City Council member Eileen Moeller initially suggested that the public input be held during the July 18 City Council meeting, her reasoning being that the July 5 council meeting was immediately after the Fourth of July weekend. “I’m concerned [about] that because it falls right on a holiday weekend and we may miss a large swath of the population,” she said. Council member Pam Eyden seconded her motion.

City Council members Michelle Alexander and Aaron Repinski stated that community members have been wanting to provide input for a while now and that delaying the initial input would just feel as if community members are being pushed aside. “I know that this group of people has been asking us for months,” Alexander said. She continued, “But I want to keep moving forward and every two weeks we wait longer to [take public input] we start to drag behind and these people really want to talk in front of the whole council.”

“We should have [public input] as soon as possible,” Repinski said.

“We did want to gather the general public input on this project as early as possible,” City Manager Chad Ubl said to the council. “We had some conflict dates for the next meeting in June, so we went with the July 5 [meeting.]”

Moeller's proposed amendment failed 3-4, with City Council members Steve Young, Moeller, and Eyden voting to delay the hearing until July 18, and the rest of the council voting to hold it on July 5.

In a 5-2 vote, the City Council approved the July 5 public hearing and directed city staff to have an online input form on the city’s website by June 17 for people unable to attend the council meeting on July 5. Moeller and Young voted against the proposal. 

City Council member George Borzyskowski and Ubl stated that there would be other opportunities for public input in the future as the project marches along. Ubl also wants to, at some point, have more focused input sessions from users of the East Recreation Center and Friendship Center. “If we have future public hearings, we’ll give the public notice,” Ubl said.

Ubl said that the online public input form will go up on the city of Winona’s website homepage on June 17. That form is available at: https://www.cityofwinona.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=201. The online submissions will be compiled for the council to review during the meeting on July 5. 

Ubl said that there’s an assumption that the current project is going forward, but he wants to reassure Winonans that the project still has many stages — public input, plan feasibility, and funding, to name a few — before the city commits to building any proposed facility. “There’s a lot of stops we’ve yet to complete before we decide,” he said.

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