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

Feb 22

Press Release: Spring Axle Weight Restrictions Begin February 26, 2024

Posted to City of Monticello - Press Releases by Haley Foster

DATE:             February 22, 2024
                         For Immediate Release

CONTACT:      Ryan Melhouse
                          (763) 271-3227 | Ryan.Melhouse@ci.monticello.mn.us

Spring Axle Weight Restrictions Begin February 26, 2024

Monticello, MN – Spring Weight Restrictions on city roadways will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, February 26. The City of Monticello places spring road restrictions consistent with Wright County.

Axle weight restrictions are used to protect roadways during the annual spring thaw. The limits help prevent premature deterioration of pavement as the ground thaws. Typically, from February through May the gravel under the roadbed has high moisture content that can weaken the carry capacity of pavement and make the roadbeds more susceptible to damage. By restricting axle weight, the life of the roadways can be prolonged.

Posted axle weight limit signs govern the vehicle weights on city roads. All restriction limits are gross axle weights. Local governments are granted authority to implement these restrictions by Minnesota Statute 169.87.

The exact dates of the restrictions vary from year to year, so communication is released when they go into effect and when they are lifted. Additional information can be found on the MnDOT and Wright County websites:

The City of Monticello does not issue any over limit permits. Questions? Please contact Monticello’s Public Works Department at 763-295-3170.

Feb 01

A Year in Review: 2023 in Monticello

Posted to City Spotlight by Haley Foster

A Year in Review: 2023 in Monticello2023 Year in Review

2023 was a busy year in the City of Monticello! From new construction and road improvements to public art installations and various grants and awards; here are some of our favorite moments, biggest projects, and highlights from the past year!  

Community & Economic Development 

There were 14 new development projects this year: 5 residential projects, 5 commercial projects, 3 industrial projects, and 1 mixed-use development for commercial and residential use. These various residential projects include: 

  • 287 multifamily apartment units 
  • 139 single-family lots 
  • 60 townhome units (30 townhomes) for seniors (55+). 
     

Department of Building Safety and Code Enforcement 

  • 1,073 building permits were issued (through Nov. 2023) compared to 903 total in 2022. 
  • 44 single family homes were built in 2023 compared to 33 in 2022. 
  • 109 blight notices were issued in 2023. 
     

Fire Department 

  • In 2023 the Monticello Fire Department presented three Lifesaving Awards to Firefighters Eric Grant, Josh Samuelson, and Chief Mike Mossey for their roles and assistance in saving someone’s life earlier this year. 
  • MFD celebrated 3 retirements in 2023, all of whom served their community for 20+ years! Thank you to Firefighters John Bauer (20 years), Don Anderson (20 years), and Captain Shawn Leach (28 years) for their selfless dedication and service to Monticello. 
  • We responded to 386 total calls in 2023, compared to 388 in 2022.
     

Public Works 

  • In 2023, 9 snow events were declared. 
  • Construction season was BUSY in 2023. We had active detours from June-November and sent out 27 detour/construction update alerts (we know it felt like more). 
  • In addition to the various detours, City staff were also busy doing maintenance on potholes and cracks. Our Streets Department went through 1,053 TONS of blacktop this year! 
  • We installed new doors for the City’s compost facility this year and made 946 access cards for residents (1 card per property). 


Parks, Arts, & Recreation 

In 2023 we began Public Engagement for our 2023 Needs Assessment. We were at the Farmers Market, Walk & Roll, and various Riverfest events gathering feedback from the community. In 2024 we will be gathering additional feedback on our Parks, Arts, & Recreation (PAR) Master Plan, using the information from our 2023 PAR Needs Assessment. 

We also completed several projects around the Community Center, including: 

  • Our new Romp 'N' Stomp indoor play structure opened in 2023. It is open for ages 0-12 and features four levels of fun! Including a spiral slide, wobble hopper, and a sit-n-spin. Kid tested and approved! 
  • Artist Parker McDonald added a new mural in the MCC pool arena and touched up his existing work. We also completed annual maintenance and cleaning of the pool, water features, and spas. 
  • Following a crash that damaged the MCC’s Walnut Street entrance in February 2023, we began moving forward with repairs. Construction on the entrance began in October. We were ecstatic to be able to celebrate the re-opening of the entrance just before Thanksgiving. 
      

MontiArts had a busy year offering over 220 arts opportunities (open studio, art socials, workshops, etc.) for our community! 
 

  • MontiArts received 5 grants in 2023 
    • $28,000 for Arts Board Creative Support 
    • $20,000 for the East Bridge Park sculpture  
    • $6,400 for the 2023 Glow Fest 
    • $5,000 for the Ellison Park sculpture 
    • $3,500 for the new Downtown Mural 
  • Monticello added 4 new pieces of public art 
    • The mini mural at the Monticello DMV 
    • The Yoga Tree at the Mindful Garden Yoga Studio 
    • East Bridge Park Dragonfly Sculpture 
    • The mural downtown on East Broadway 
  • MontiArts hosted 2 Art Shows featuring local artists: In 2023 MontiArts hosted the Monticello School District’s Art Show, and an art show for local artist Stan Thorud.
     

2023 Grant Updates and Awards

Funding for Minnesota cities is reliant on property taxes. However, Monticello frequently seeks other funding sources, including state and federal grants, to limit greater impact on local taxpayers. We are incredibly grateful for the support and the additional funding of projects and improvements in our community. We’re also proud of City staff for their efforts and hard work finding and applying for various grants. 

  • In 2020 we were awarded a $500,000 Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Grant for School Boulevard Safety Improvements. In 2021 we were awarded another $500,000 SRTS Grant for Elm Street; we were able to accomplish both projects in 2023. 
  • In January 2023, the City was awarded $200,000 in federal funding from the Safe Streets 4 All (SS4A) program to complete a Safety Action Plan. One of the main goals of Monticello’s Comprehensive Safety Action Plan will be to help identify roadway improvements to increase multi-modal transportation safety to eliminate serious injuries and fatality accidents in Monticello.?Public engagement and a traffic study began in 2023 and will continue in 2024. 
  • In June 2023 the City received $1,000 from the MN Business Finance Corporation (MBFC) for the EDA’s Hospitality Study, which was completed in 2023. 
  • In August and September 2023, the City received two grants for our Parks Turf Conversion Project. $30,000 was awarded by Wright County’s Conservation/Restoration Grants, and $5,000 was donated by Monticello’s Rotary Club. The Turf conversion project was completed in 2023. 
  • In October 2023, the City received a $30,000 grant from the Minnesota DNR for Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) management. The City used the grant to conduct a city-wide inventory of all public trees, including those in the right-of-way. The tree inventory was completed in December 2023.
     

2023 Grant Awards for Future Projects 

  • In February 2023 the City was awarded a $970,625 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant to re-build County Ditch #33 in Monticello. Ditch 33 was built in 1917 and requires several repairs, estimated to cost approximately $3 million dollars. The proposed project will take place in 2024 and is being coordinated by Wright County, the City of Monticello, and the Monticello Township. 
  • In April 2023 the City received $800,000 from the Transportation Alternatives (TA) Grant for a trail connection on CSAH 39 to Bertram Chain of Lakes (BCOL) Regional Park. The proposed project will take place in 2024-2025 and aims to connect pathways from Elm to Chelsea with Bertram. 
  • In May 2023 we received $11 million from the State of Minnesota for the construction of a future Water Treatment Plant in the City of Monticello. 
  • In June 2023 the City was awarded $485,500 from the Carbon Reduction Grant Program for the future construction of a proposed roundabouts at the intersections of School Boulevard at Edmonson and Cedar; and a $1 million grant from the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program for the future reconstruction of School Boulevard.  
  • In September 2023 the City was awarded $80,580 from Wright County’s Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) for hydration stations to be installed throughout the Monticello Community Center in 2023 and 2024. 
  • In December 2023 the Economic Development Authority (EDA) received $10,000 from the Initiative Foundation for future projects in the Downtown area. 

Thank you to our City Council, our volunteers, committee members, residents, and city staff for making 2023 a great year! We’ve got a lot in store for 2024, and we’re excited to see where the next year takes us! 

Jul 25

Development Update: Wiha Tools on East 7th Street

Posted to Community & Economic Development by Haley Foster

Development Update: Wiha Tools on East 7th Street

Wiha UpdateWalls are going up on the new 73,000+ square foot Wiha Tools manufacturing building, located along East 7th Street. Wiha, a long-time Monticello manufacturer, expects to open their new location in the summer of 2024. They currently have 57 employees and plan to add 59 jobs at their new facility.

Next week beginning Monday, July 31 construction crews will be closing 7th Street between Wright & Ramsey Streets to conduct utility work for the new facility. Additional information about the closure and related detour can be found on our website.



Project History

On Friday, April 21, 2023 Mayor Lloyd Hilgart and city staff joined Wiha Tools for the groundbreaking of their new location and expansion project located on East 7th Street.Wiha Groundbreaking

Mayor Hilgart gave a speech congratulating Wiha Tools, saying, “It’s a great day when a Monticello business has not only been successful, but so successful that they’ve outgrown their current location. It’s an even greater day when they break ground on their new location in the same city they’ve had so much success in.”

Mayor Hilgart noted the many job opportunities manufacturers bring to our community and thanked the City’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) and City staff for their hard work in recognizing the importance of our manufacturing industry and assisting local businesses and manufacturers alike.

We’re excited for Wiha Tools for their upcoming expansion and would like to thank them for continuing to call Monticello their home.