St. Boni council discusses Main Street improvement project

By Emily Hedges

Improvements to Main Street in St. Boni may come at too high a price.

During the June 6 regular meeting, the council discussed plans to re-do sidewalks and lighting along County Road 92 between the north and south city limits at an estimated cost of approximately $1.3 million.

Mayor Rick Weible isn’t convinced that when all the numbers are in from city engineers and Xcel Energy, the results will be favorable. He also questions whether or not the plan will achieve one of the primary goals – to bring a fresh look to downtown.

"New poles along Main Street aren’t going to improve the look," said Weible. "What Main Street needs to improve are the buildings."

Council member Joe Arwood cautioned the council about laying a tax burden on businesses. He pointed to Chaska as an example of a town with a strong business district before redevelopment, and a number of vacant storefronts afterwards.

"Let’s not forget there are places where it didn’t work," said Arwood.

Weible agreed they should continue to take a hard look at the costs versus the benefits.

"We need to be more sensitive because our tax base is small. I think St. Boni can be a little more, but we need to get creative," said Weible. "We moved here because it’s a small community. We know why we live here. It’s a great town."

In other business, the council: