Blog module icon

All Blog


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

Apr 26

Press Release: City Council Approves 'No Mow May' - April 8, 2022

Posted to City of Monticello - Press Releases by Haley Foster

DATE:           April 8, 2022

                      For Immediate Release

CONTACT:  Rachel Leonard

                      (763) 295-2711 | rachel.leonard@ci.monticello.mn.us


City Council Approves ‘No Mow May’

Monticello, MN – On Monday, March 28 City Council approved ‘No Mow May’ in Monticello. For the first time, the City will suspend nuisance enforcement on grass lengths during the month of May. 

No Mow May4No Mow May is a conservation initiative recommended by the Minnesota DNR and Wright County. The goal is to allow grass to grow unmown during the month, creating habitat and forage for early season pollinators. 

Residents are encouraged to suspend mowing for the month, but there are other ways you can help Minnesota’s pollinators if you want to continue to mow. The public can also plant bee flowers and native plants as well as keep plants pesticide free.

During the month of May, City staff will continue mowing around rental structures, in the parks, and around City buildings to ensure accessibility.  However, we’re excited to participate in No Mow May in other ways, like adding native prairie grasses and wildflowers throughout our parks system.

If residents plan on participating, please note that enforcement will resume on Wednesday, June 1. All lawns must be maintained per the City’s Code. For more information click here or check out the University of Minnesota’s Bee Lab for other actions you can take to help our local pollinators.

Jan 14

City Spotlight: What is the IEDC?

Posted to City Spotlight by Haley Foster

City Spotlight: What is the Industrial & Economic Development Committee?

The Industrial & Economic Development Committee (IEDC) began in 1975 as the Industrial Development Committee (IDC). It was formed by business owners committed to growing manufacturing and industry in Monticello. These passionate local advocates wanted to lend their support to critical issues focused on creating and retaining business and employment in the city. The IDC later became a board of the City of Monticello – in 2008, they became known as the Industrial & Economic Development Committee.

The IEDC's mission is to advocate for industrial and economic growth within the city by promoting awareness and communication efforts on behalf of the business community. The IEDC is made up of representatives from local businesses, organizations, and residents. Meetings are 7 a.m. on the first Tuesday of the month.

Volunteer Opportunity!

We're looking for applicants to fill a vacancy on the IEDC! Applicants must be a Monticello business representative or resident of the City of Monticello. This is one of the few City boards where you are not required to live in Monticello, but you must manage a business within the City to be considered.

The IEDC often works in tandem with the Economic Development Authority (EDA) and offers feedback to the EDA on various economic development opportunities. The IEDC also works with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry to act as liaisons to new businesses in the community. The IEDC also has liaisons from the Monticello Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Wright County Economic Development Partnership, and Xcel Energy on their board. Their main purpose is to keep the business community, economic and industrial growth at the heart of the conversation. Interested in joining? Fill out an application!

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