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.

“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.

EDA ANNUAL UPDATE: Presentation intro slideHe 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).


Aug 15

[ARCHIVED] Press Release: City of Monticello Moving Forward with Downtown Improvements

The original item was published from August 15, 2023 2:19 PM to September 28, 2023 11:10 AM

DATE:             May 23, 2023
                         For Immediate Release

CONTACT:      Haley Foster
                          (763) 271-3202 |

City of Monticello Moving Forward with Downtown Improvements

In 2017 the City of Monticello adopted the Downtown Small Area Plan, declaring our dedication to the downtown, its growth and its improvement.

Downtown is the birthplace and the heart of the city. The area includes premiere parks, restaurants, shops, and the character of historical Monticello. It's home to many of the area's favorite community celebrations and a colorful community art scene.

On Monday, August 7, 2023 City Council held a special meeting to accept bids for the construction of our Downtown Roadway and Pedestrian Improvements Project. The bid was awarded to Meyer Contracting Inc. The planned improvements of this project were approved at the City Council meeting on Monday, June 26, 2023. For a comprehensive list of improvements, you can view our agenda item from the meeting on our website.

This project will include improvements to Walnut Street between Broadway and River Street; River Street between Walnut Street and Pine Street and Broadway, between Pine Street and Walnut Street. The project will include connecting Walnut Street to River Street, roadway sidewalk and utility improvements, as well as improved signage, lighting, and landscaping. The improvements will make a more pleasant and safe environment for everyone who uses the area.

With a substantial private redevelopment project occurring on one of the most prominent downtown blocks, the City initiated complementary public improvements on adjacent roadways as envisioned in the Monticello 2040 Vision + Plan, the corresponding Downtown Small Area Plan, and the Walnut Street Corridor Plan. In addition, in 2022 the project scope expanded to include Wright County’s planned Pavement Preservation Project on Broadway to ensure a unified approach to the area.  

Our goals for the project include continuing our efforts to improving the Downtown for visitors, businesses, and residents by:

  • Improving pedestrian safety and facilities
  • Completing downtown roadway connections
  • Creating public spaces and landscaping improvements near the riverfront
  • Updating current utilities to bring them up to date
  • Improved ADA access to West Bridge Park

Project Timeline

The project was awarded to Meyer Contracting, Inc. for construction. Meyer Contracting is actively working on a detailed project schedule. Additional details will be shared when available. The following is an outline of major activities based on the preliminary schedule:

  • Construction Begins – Week of August 14, 2023
  • Reclaiming of Pavement on Broadway St. west of Locust St. (Work completed with lane shifts under traffic) – August 21, 2023
  • Road Closure and Detour for Broadway St. between TH 25 and Locust St. Begins – Week of August 21 or August 28, 2023 – Anticipated Duration of Detour is 8 Weeks
  • Road Closure for River Street and Walnut Street Begins – August 21, 2023
  • Substantial Completion of Street and Utility Work – October 31, 2023
  • Landscaping, Streetscaping, Final Layer of Street Paving, and Permanent Striping to Occur in Summer 2024

The City of Monticello will be posting updates for the project on our website and in our Downtown e-newsletter. You can also sign up for email and text message notifications for upcoming detours, road closures and more via our City Alerts program.