Next Kinni Corridor Tech Talk set for April 6th

The next Kinni Corridor Tech Talk will focus on economic and neighborhood development strategies and principles. Don Ness, former mayor of Duluth, will be speaking on economic and neighborhood development strategies and principles using River Falls’ quality of life, sense of place, and entrepreneurial spirit as guideposts. In 2009, Mayor Ness organized the first St. Louis River Corridor Summit to begin developing a comprehensive vision for the corridor area in his community. His efforts resulted in the St. Louis River Corridor Initiative, a hallmark of his second term.

The goals of this initiative are to:
• Support environmental restoration;
• Enrich neighborhood quality of life;
• Attract new homebuyers;
• Establish new visitor destinations;
• Stimulate economic development.
Mr. Ness’ experience with Duluth’s riverfront development will provide insight and food for thought for the Kinni Corridor planning process. City development staff will talk specifically about River Falls development in remarks before the keynote address. There will be 30 minutes for Q&A at the end of the program.

These “Tech Talks” are intended to educate, inform, and engage the community in the planning process, which will help the City Council design future amenities and natural areas, and, most importantly, determine the fate of the two dams on the Kinni.

The Tech Talk on March 9th was a presentation by Matt Mitro, a coldwater researcher with the Wisconsin DNR; chapter member Kent Johnson with the Metropolitan Council; Marty Melchoir of InterFluve; and Carrie Jennings, Water Resources Professor at the University of Minnesota. The panel was asked six questions, with each lending their insights based on their experience and expertise. Topics covered dealt with urban environments and their impacts to streams; the importance of stormwater management and maintaining healthy riparian corridors; and the movement of sediment and contaminants.

After the formal questions, the panel fielded questions from the floor. The questions—which typically sought more detailed information or clarification on the topics covered—were thoughtful and plentiful. The meeting ended just over the allotted time.

The Thursday, April 6th meeting will be held at St. Bridget’s, which is located next to the public library. Meeting time is 6:30 pm until 8:00 pm.


Upcoming “Tech Talks”
• May 18th: Hydro Facilities & Relicensing
• July 20th: Dam Removal Alternatives
• September 7th: Recreation & Tourism
~ Gary Horvath

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