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).


Sep 16

[ARCHIVED] MontiArts: “The Gathering” in East Bridge Park

The original item was published from September 16, 2021 3:28 PM to May 16, 2023 2:48 PM

“The Gathering” in East Bridge Park

Next time you're in East Bridge Park, make sure you check out "The Gathering," our gorgeous new sculpture by The Milligan Studio. The piece was paid for by a grant from the Central MN Arts Board (CMAB) and a generous donation from the Monticello Lions Club. It’s the newest expression of how the Monticello community is embracing art throughout the downtown.

The artists, Milligan StudioThe sculpture selection process was carefully created by MontiArts. Direction Sue Seeger noted, "We held a nation-wide call for art, and 38 artists or studios applied. MontiArts narrowed it to five finalists. Then a selection committee made up of City Councilmembers; Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission members; artists; Lions members; city staff, and citizens at large was formed to choose the finalist.” Using ranked choice voting, the committee selected an entry from Alan and Nicole Milligan of The Milligan Studio.

Seeger and Tom Pawelk, The City of Monticello's Parks, Arts, and Recreation Director, worked closely with the Milligans to ensure the community was involved and represented in this piece. 

The goal of the sculpture is to bring people together, the glass pieces are meant to represent fish. The steel of the sculpture represents reeds in the river. The fish are swimming and congregating amongst the reeds, symbolized by the steel. The beauty of our city’s rivers and parks acts as a gathering place for celebrations, a place to admire nature, and where we can play outside with loved ones.

Pawelk, Seeger, and the rest of MontiArts look forward to adding more locations for art and sculpture installations around the city. "Former local sculptor Parker McDonald was a close second, and huge sentimental favorite, with many expressing that they really hoped we could get something from him installed as well at some point," said Seeger. "So, we've applied for another grant to get a piece from him installed at Ellison Park. We are still waiting to hear if we'll be awarded that grant.  If we get the grant we'll install his piece next summer," she added.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Central MN Arts Board thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Check out this Monticello Times article about the install, ‘The Gathering’ brings beauty of sculpture, community to Monticello’s East Bridge Park. Watch MontiArts' video of the installation on YouTube! View more photos from the installation on our Facebook page, or in our Photo Gallery.