Monticello City Council Highlights - July 26, 2021


July 26, 2021

EDA Annual Update

Economic Development Manager Jim Thares presented the annual Economic Development department update.

EDA ANNUAL UPDATE: Presentation intro slide“The 2020-2021 workplans included six components: downtown redevelopment was the top goal or priority for the EDA. Promoting industrial and commercial development was the second priority, housing development was third. The IEDC’s priorities were labor force development and business retention and expansion. In 2020 the CARES Act came to the city and money was provided to the EDA and that’s where the COVID-19 emergency response efforts were established,” said Thares.

He then elaborated further explaining that Block 52 was the top priority of the Downtown Redevelopment work plan as well as the Façade Improvement Program. One highlight was that the façade improvements to the Agosto building were completed in late 2020, with three new applications submitted this spring/summer, all of which are on Block 35.

According to Thares, there were 38 EDA CARES Act grants approved for $5,000 each. Eight additional City CARES Act grants were also approved for restaurants and microbreweries in the community.

Riverfest Recap

Riverfest 2021 was a huge success according to Riverfest City Liaison Tom Pawelk.

“Overall, it was a good turnout. Second highest gross sales that the Riverfest committee has ever seen, so that’s pretty good. Record beer sales… and duck adoptions were basically sold out, so that’s 5,000 ducks sold,” said Pawelk.

The first night [Thursday] kicked off at Pioneer Park, with a Monticello firefighter showing up strong for a second year in a row and winning the pie eating contest. Mayor Hilgart teased that may only be because he’s “not invited back” to the pie eating contest after winning twice.

“Friday night, the talent show had 22 acts and we followed it up with a wonderful fireworks display, sponsored by the City of Monticello. The Lions Bean Bag tournament on Saturday had 49 entries,” said Pawelk.

Pawelk added that while Sunday’s parade was shorter than past years, with no royalty candidates or visiting royalty; the shorter parade might have been preferable given the heat. He joked that the kids didn’t seem to mind because they still got plenty of candy.

Online Building Permits

City of Monticello is now offering online building permits for permits that do not require a plan review. Visit our website to check it out! 

Council Approval

  • Council approved Special Event Permit
    • City Council approved a Special Event Permit and temporary liquor license for the Rotary’s Taste of the Towns event. The event will be held on Thursday, September 16 in the commuter lot on Deegan Ave. 

  • Council approved new restrooms for Ellison Park
    • City Council approved the purchase of modular restrooms to replace the existing restrooms at Ellison Park. The project will also include ADA improvements in the area around the bathroom.
  • Council approved proceeding with bids for DMV relocation
    • City Council approved notifying the State of Minnesota of intent to move the DMV from its current location to the Prairie Center building at 118 W. 6th Street. Council also approved proceeding with bids for the improvements necessary to remodel the first floor of the building for the DMV. City Council will consider officially ordering the improvements at a future 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.
  • Meetings 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).


Apr 25

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

The original item was published from April 25, 2023 2:43 PM to April 25, 2023 2:45 PM

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