City of Monticello - Press Releases

City of Monticello - Press Releases

Sep 28

Press Release: City Council Approves Preliminary 2024 City Tax Levy - Sept. 28, 2023

Posted on September 28, 2023 at 11:25 AM by Haley Foster

DATE:             September 28, 2023
                         For Immediate Release

CONTACT:      Rachel Leonard
                          (763) 295-2711 |

City Council Approves Preliminary 2024 City Tax Levy

Monticello, MN – On Monday, Sept. 25, the Monticello City Council approved a preliminary 2024 city tax levy of $13,134,000. This is a 9% increase from the city tax levy in 2023. 

The majority of the tax levy goes into the City’s General Fund. This fund supports many of the basic functions of local government, including public safety, snow and ice removal, planning and zoning, and more. While evaluating the budget for next year, the City Council considered the rising cost for local law enforcement, the administration of three elections in 2024, and the maintenance needs for assets like the local pathways. 

The preliminary levy also included an allocation for the fund used to finance larger projects. In 2024, this will include completing the Downtown Roadway and Pedestrian Improvements, the city contribution to the Wright County pavement project on East Broadway, and intersection improvements on School Boulevard. 

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. In 2024, this will include use of the local public safety aid granted by the MN legislature.

The decision by the City Council on Monday night included the part of local property taxes they can control: the size of the levy. There are other factors that influence changes in a property tax bill, including any changes to the property value. 

Finance Director Sarah Rathlisberger explains it like a pizza: the Council decides what size of pizza to order; the property type and value tells you how big of a slice you get. There are four key classifications affected by the levy in Monticello: residential, commercial & industrial, apartments, and the nuclear generating plant.

Unlike most other municipalities, the presence of the nuclear generating plant significantly impacts Monticello’s tax base. The facility’s value is determined by the State of Minnesota each year. While the plant was once responsible for the majority of the City’s tax base, the facility’s property value received more modest increases in value than other properties in the city and in 2024 the value is projected to decrease by 4.6%. This shifts more of the local tax responsibility to residential, apartments, and commercial & industrial properties. 

The proposed increase of 9% would mean a residential property with a taxable market value of $300,000 in 2023 and an average 10.9% market value increase would see an increase in City taxes of approximately $132.

Understanding the challenges this creates, the City Council addressed the increase noting that between law enforcement costs, rising prices for fuel and materials, and the City’s responsibility for providing essential services, there’s not a lot of ability to reduce the levy amount needed for the budget in 2024.

However, setting the preliminary levy is simply the first step in a longer process. The information will be used by Wright County to compile the Truth-in-Taxation notices mailed to properties in November.

Following the notices, residents will have an opportunity to speak about the proposed tax levy and voice their opinions to City Council at the Truth-in-Taxation Public Hearing on Monday, December 11, 2023 during the regular Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. Following the public hearing, the City Council will adopt the final 2024 property tax levy and 2024 budget.

To learn more about the City of Monticello’s budget process, how the levy is determined, and what property taxes are used for, visit the City’s website.

Sep 28

Press Release: New Sculpture Installed in East Bridge Park - Sept. 21, 2023

Posted on September 28, 2023 at 11:21 AM by Haley Foster

DATE:             September 21, 2023
                         For Immediate Release

CONTACT:      Haley Foster
                          (763) 271-3202 |

The Dragonfly Effect: New Sculpture Installed in East Bridge Park


Monticello, MN – The beautiful, floral landscaping of East Bridge Park has attracted thousands of pollinators and people alike to Monticello for decades. Now, another addition paying homage to the park’s significance has come to town!

At 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21 city staff, MontiArts, members of the Parks, Arts, & Recreation Commission, the City’s volunteer Garden Club, and the Dragonfly Society of MN gathered at East Bridge Park to welcome Parker McDonald and celebrate his latest creation for Monticello: a new sculpture of a dragonfly, grasshopper, and a ladybug on long stalks.

McDonald says dragonflies have always been a fascination of his, “When I was a kid, I was always outside, always catching and collecting insects and dragonflies.”

When he was young, McDonald ‘caught’ an unhatched dragonfly, brought it home and put it in an aquarium. He says when it hatched, there was a beautiful, big, green, and blue dragonfly. That experience sparked his love and affinity for dragonflies.

“This is the fourth dragonfly sculpture I’ve made, but it is the largest,” said McDonald.

Several years ago, East and West Bride Park were home to significant dragonfly research efforts in Minnesota. A founding member of the Dragonfly Society of MN, Curt Oien, spoke briefly about Arne Myrabo, a Monticello resident whose research and work in our city’s parks received state-wide recognition.

“Minnesota was one of the most under surveyed states for dragonfly research in the country,” said Oien, “Arne’s contributions made a huge impact on what we know now. So much so, that he was even awarded a volunteer of the year award for his work as a as a Minnesota Master Naturalist and his dragonfly surveys.”

That research and its impact inspired the installation of this sculpture.

“A few years ago, this concept was submitted to the City of Monticello for East Bridge Park and it really stood out to us, especially because of the dragonfly significance this park has. It was a close, close second to ‘The Gathering’ sculpture you see at the entrance now, but we knew we wanted to incorporate it somehow,” said Parks, Arts, and Recreation Director Tom Pawelk. “Last year, when Parker was here for the Bass sculpture installation at Ellison Park, we put the wheels in motion for this project,” he added.

This stunning sculpture would not have been possible without the grant we received from the Central MN Arts Board (CMAB). We also would like to give a huge shout out to our wonderful MontiArts team, our volunteer garden club for all their hard work keeping or community beautiful and selecting a beautiful place for the sculpture to go, all the city staff who helped with the planning and installation, and Parker himself for being a pillar in our arts community for over two decades, and inspiring local artists with his talents!

About the Monticello Arts Initiative

Monticello's growing arts and entertainment options provide a variety of experiences for all ages! Connectivity through creativity is the core value behind the Monticello Arts Initiative (MontiArts). What started as an initiative in 2018 to help make the downtown area a vibrant, invigorating space where people enjoy spending time and being active - has grown into a thriving group that connects local creatives to one another. 

Whether you enjoy the over 30 pieces of public art in Monticello (sculptures, murals, etc.), participate in the GLOW parade, High School Art Club, or their weekly events like open mic night or open studio; MontiArts has something for everyone!

If you would like to learn more about MontiArts or are interested in getting involved, follow MontiArts on Facebook, email the MontiArts or visit their website for more information!

Sep 28

Press Release - Upcoming Detour: Trunk Highway 25 & Broadway Overnight Closure - Sept. 15, 2023

Posted on September 28, 2023 at 11:17 AM by Haley Foster

DATE:             September 15, 2023
                         For Immediate Release

CONTACT:      Haley Foster
                          (763) 271-3202 |

Upcoming Detour: Trunk Highway 25 & Broadway Overnight Closure

Monticello, MN – The intersection of Trunk Highway (TH) 25 and Broadway will be closed overnight from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. for about 4 nights – September 25-28.

The Northbound TH 25 detour will follow 4th Street to Cedar to River. The Southbound TH 25 detour will follow River Street to Locust to 4th Street. Note: this detour and closure does not include the TH 25 bridge. TH 25 will be open to traffic during the day between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Monticello Overnight Detour Map_2023