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Deer hunt properties, grant requests on council agenda

Austin Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Nelson will discuss the possible addition of new land parcels to the city-wide deer hunt during the Austin City Council’s work session Monday evening.

Nelson will be asking the council to consider adding land parcels at the following locations:

• Multiple contiguous privately-owned parcels, totaling approximately 300 acres, north of Hormel Corporate North, east of the Cedar River, west of Eighth Street Northeast, Eighth Drive Northeast, and 16th Drive Northeast, up to Austin Utilities’ property;

• Multiple contiguous city-owned parcels, totaling approximately 40 acres, situated between 21st Avenue Northeast and 16th Avenue Northeast;

• A county-owned portion of the former Ramsey Golf Course, two contiguous parcels totaling 23 acres, from the DNR boat landing on the Cedar River and following the Cedar River to just beyond the railroad trestle on the north; and

• Knob Hill, totaling three acres, which Nelson suggests giving a one-year trial period given the residential nature of the neighborhood.

The city-wide deer hunt is scheduled to begin Oct. 17. The hunt is archery only.

City Administrative Services Director Tom Dankert will ask the council to review and rank in order of priority grant requests submitted to the Hormel Foundation for 2021. Requests have been made for the following:

• Library Hotspot Data Plans for 2021 – $45,000;

• Fire Prevention and Education – $5,000;

• Transitional Housing Improvements – $36,540;

• CHIP Loan Expansion – $100,000;

• Todd Park Bridge – $100,500;

• Jay C. Hormel Nature Center Education Programs – $45,000;

• Shirley Theel Park Drainage – $70,375;

• Astronomy Lesson for Sixth Graders (Mobile Planetarium) – $40,000;

• Library Anti-Racism and Diversity Inclusion Programming – $5,000; and

• Neighborhood Revitalization – Community Assessment – $68,426.

City Administrator Craig Clark will continue the budget and tax levy discussion with the council. In a letter to the mayor and council, Clark said that the Budget Working group, consisting of Councilmembers Jeff Austin, Laura Helle and Steve King, have suggested a tax levy increase of six percent (up from the proposed four percent) as a means to save two city positions from layoff. The positions facing possible layoff were not revealed.

The council will welcome Dora Martinez as the new honorary council member during its regular meeting.

The council’s next regular meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 3, in the City Council Chambers located in the basement of City Hall. The work session will take place in the Council Chambers following the regular meeting.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting is closed to the general public. It will be broadcasted beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Charter Channel 180.

Anyone who wishes to address the council or monitor the work session should contact City Clerk Ann Kasel at 507-437-9943 to make arrangements.

For a complete agenda, visit www.ci.austin.mn.us/city-council.