Monticello City Council Highlights

Monticello City Council Highlights

Apr 25

Council Highlights - Monticello Local Option Sales Tax Analysis - April 24, 2023

Posted on April 25, 2023 at 2:45 PM by Haley Foster

U of M Analysis of a Local Option Sales Tax in MonticelloLOST 68.6% Non Residents

In February, the City of Monticello engaged the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality to analyze the potential impact of a Local Option Sales Tax in our community. Specifically, we were seeking data estimating the contributions of residents and non-residents. On Monday, April 24 those results were presented to the City Council.

The results of their analysis help explain why the City of Monticello is considering a Local Option Sales Tax. Using per capita sales in Minnesota, the Monticello population, and the index of income in their methodology, they estimate 31.4% of revenue for the local option sales tax would come from residents, while 68.6% would come from non-residents

This equates to about $30.41 per resident each year while the City of Monticello would receive an estimated $1.4 million per year to help fund the Bertram Regional Athletic Park and The Pointes at Cedar Recreation Area.

The U of M's full report, as well as highlights from the report are available on our website.LOST $30 Per Resident, Per Year

What would the Local Option Sales Tax be used for?

The funds raised by a Local Option Sales Tax must be used for projects valuable to the greater region. Monticello has identified two large-scale projects with regional significance: Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Athletic Park and The Pointes at Cedar Recreation Area.

Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Athletic Park is already a regional destination for recreation. The initial phases of construction created space for regional regular season and tournament play, bringing teams to Monticello from across the state.

The Pointes at Cedar is a more recent project. It’s intended to mix residential, commercial, and recreational spaces within a 100-acre development area. The project is anchored by a large central lake surrounded by pathways, art, and entertainment that will add a unique flair to the center of the community.

The City Council is committed to phased development of both projects, but a sales tax would be a transformational funding opportunity. It would create a specific source to finance future phases of the projects to ensure they can continue to develop for public use. To learn more about each project and why we believe they are regionally significant to our area, visit our website.

The approved City Council resolution from January 23, 2023 outlines a half (½) cent sales tax that would be in place for a maximum of 20 years. This would generate $30 million that would be split evenly to fund $15 million for each project. State law requires the tax to automatically sunset once funds authorized for the projects are collected, or the proposed 20 years (pending approved legislation), whichever occurs first. Local option sales taxes apply to the same items and services as the general state sales tax.

 When I'm running errands or grocery shopping what would I be taxed on?

You WOULD NOT be taxed on:

  • groceries/food
  • baby products
  • prescription/nonprescription medication
  • clothing
  • water
  • certain agriculture purchases such as poultry feed
  • Vehicle sales/purchases, vehicle maintenance labor costs

You WOULD be taxed on:

  • soft drinks: pop, coffee, tea drinks that contain sweeteners
  • candy
  • dining out/take-out orders
  • vending machine sales
  • tobacco products (except cigarettes)
  • building materials
  • Vehicle leases/rentals, vehicle parts
  • Vehicle washing/cleaning services
  • Pet grooming/boarding
  • Pay television services (Cable/Satellite)

To view a full list of non-taxable and taxable items, visit:

LOST Exempt 1

Apr 12

City Council Highlights - April 10, 2023

Posted on April 12, 2023 at 1:46 PM by Haley Foster

City Council Highlights -  April 10, 2023

On Monday, April 10 Mayor Lloyd Hilgart made a proclamation declaring Friday, April 28 as Arbor Day in the City of Monticello. The City has several programs and events tied to Arbor Day.

Arbor Day and the City’s Tree Program

Back by popular demand: we will be hosting our Arbor Day Giveaway for its second year. Join us Friday, April 28 at the Monticello Community Center. We will be giving out free spruce tree seedlings to plant as a family (until we're out of seedlings)! Visit the our website for more information.

The Arbor Day Giveaway event was developed in 2022 after Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was discovered in Monticello. The seedlings are given away and can be planted and nurtured by local families throughout our community, supplementing our region’s canopy.

In addition to the Arbor Day Giveaway, the City also has our annual Spring Tree Sale. This sale was created as part of our Shade Tree Disease Program. In an effort to maintain the vitality of our community's urban forest, trees are sold at a discounted/bulk rate to residents. This helps supplement our environment and replace the many trees lost each year to infectious diseases such as Bur Oak Blight, Dutch Elm Disease, and Emerald Ash Borer.

Pinewood Elementary Safe Routes to School Project

City Council also approved Resolution 2023-33; approving the plans, specifications, and the advertisement of bids for the Pinewood Elementary Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Project. The improvements in the project include the following:

  • Install sidewalk to the East side of Elm Street between 6th Street and Broadway
  • Install sidewalk on 6th Street from Elm to existing sidewalk near Vine.
  • Install sidewalk on 4th Street from Elm to existing sidewalk at Minnesota.
  • Add enhanced pedestrian crossing at 3rd Street and Elm Street 

To learn more about the Pinewood Elementary SRTS Project, and to view a project map, visit the our website.

To view the full agenda from Monday’s meeting, and each resolution’s related documents, visit our website and click on the “Agendas & Minutes” button. Agendas are posted on the Thursday before Council Meetings to give Council and the public time to review.

Watch a City Meeting

Citizens are welcome to attend City Council, Planning Commission, and Economic Development Authority meetings, but we understand that attending in person is not always an option. As an alternative, we offer the following options to stay engaged with your local government:

  • Meetings are broadcast live on cable channel 12 (FiberNet and TDS subscribers) or channel 180 (Charter subscribers).
  • Meetings are streamed live online. View the live stream on the Monticello Live Stream website.
  • Meeting recordings are available online to watch when it's convenient for you. View the meeting recordings on the Monticello Live Stream website.
  • Meetings are rebroadcast throughout the week on cable channel 12 (FiberNet & TDS subscribers) or channel 180 (Charter subscribers).
Jan 24

City Council Highlights - January 9, 2023

Posted on January 24, 2023 at 4:39 PM by Haley Foster

City Council Highlights – January 9, 2023

Monticello, meet your City Council! Mayor Lloyd Hilgart (center), L to R - Councilmembers Charlotte Gabler, Sam Murdoff, Lee Martie, and Tracy Hinz.Full Council 2023

The Oath of Office was administered at first City Council meeting of the year on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023.

  • Mayor Lloyd Hilgart will serve another 2-year term (term expires 12/31/2024).
  • Councilmember Charlotte Gabler will serve another 4-year term (term expires 12/31/2026).
  • Councilmember Tracy Hinz will serve a 4-year term (term expires 12/31/2026).
  • Councilmember Lee Martie was sworn in on Nov. 28, 2022 to fill the seat vacated by Councilmember Jim Davidson. He will serve the remainder of Jim Davidson’s 4-year term (term expires 12/31/2024).
  • Councilmember Sam Murdoff is currently serving his 4-year term (term expires 12/31/2024).

Join us in welcoming them to the Monticello City Council!

Understanding Radon

Wright County Public Health gave an update on Radon. Radon is a colorless and odorless gas found in the soil and common throughout Minnesota. Because soil is porous, radon moves up from the soil and into the home. The gas can accumulate in the air we breathe becoming a health concern. Exposure to radon over a long period of time can lead to lung cancer. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and two in five Minnesota homes have high radon levels. 

The MN Department of Health recommends all Minnesotans test their home for radon. You can test your home yourself. Start with a short-term test. Your local health department or government agency may offer test kits at reduced prices. You can also order a short-term radon test kit at

Radon GraphicIf the radon is high, hire a licensed radon professional to install a radon mitigation system. Licensed radon professionals are on MDH’s website at

You can find more information on radon, including ordering a radon test kit and how to understand your radon test result, at

DMV Annual Update

 Manager Carolyn Granger gave an annual update for the Monticello DMV. Some highlights included the staff’s dedication to serving customers efficiently and well. Granger noted, “DMV is a connection between the customers and the state of Minnesota, there are things we can do in a matter of minutes that would take customers significantly longer.”

Granger also wanted to remind residents that by renewing their registration locally, it puts money back into their community, whereas if you do it online, the state gets their filing fee.

The Monticello DMV offers a variety of services ranging from hunting and fishing licenses, vehicle registration renewals, special plates, and for just $3, they offer a notary service, which has been an increasingly popular service.

The Monticello DMV is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. And Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

 Hi-Way Liquors Annual Update

 Manager Randall Johnsen gave the annual update for Hi-Way Liquors. As the City’s municipal liquor store, Johnsen highlighted that they, “pour all their profits back into the community.” Just last year, they gave one million dollars to the City of Monticello for various projects and improvements throughout our community.

 Hi-Way Liquors had another successful year. According to the Minnesota Office of the State Auditor’s 2021 Report on municipal liquor sales, Monticello ranked 15th in total sales out of all 177 municipal liquor stores in the State of Minnesota. They were also 3rd in off-sale single location municipalities, and 33rd out of 177 in their overall net profit.

 If you stop by Hi-Way Liquors, you may see some new faces this year. The department now has seven full-time staff members and 13 part-time. Johnsen noted they unexpectedly had to add some new staff members this year for better coverage during the store’s hours of service. Johnsen noted the addition has been immensely helpful in keeping the doors open to serve customers during regular operating hours.

 Hi-Way Liquors is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.