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So far City of St. Charles has created 23 blog entries.

Resident Notice – Projects to begin 1st Week of May

Summer will be here soon and in order to take advantage of the construction season, so too will the 2021 Summer Infrastructure Project begin to take shape.  The city began planning for the 2021 construction project over a year ago with estimates being sought in the Fall of 2020.  As part of the April 13, 2021 City Council meeting, approval was authorized for the 2021 Summer Project that will include repairs to streets (chip sealing or sealing of existing streets with fresh oil and granite chips, mill and overlay with 2 inches of new asphalt, and reclaiming which will grind up existing asphalt and repave with 4 inches), replacement of curbs and sidewalks as required by Americans with Disability Act standards, improved or constructed ADA compliant pedestrian ramps for the improved walkability of our community, and the maintenance and construction of additional trails.

Due to the size and scope of the project, construction crews began with sidewalk and curb replacement the week of May 3rd.  Alley paving will also begin in May and the total project of street work will last through to September of 2021, weather contingent.  Many parts of the community will be affected by the project. Contractors are working to schedule their various portions of the project in order to have the least amount of impact on travel, but the project timeline will span from now through Fall of 2021.

Utility marking crews will begin placing flags for the safety of construction crews so that no interference to utilities will occur.  We ask that these safety identification flags be left in place.  We understand the inconvenience some of the construction may present and appreciate everyone’s understanding as we work to complete these projects as quickly as possible.  Below is a map that highlights the anticipated projects and areas that will be completed.   As City staff learn more about the specific project areas and timelines, more project updates will be provided.  Paper copies of the approved plan are also available at City Hall and updates will be posted on the city website at www.stcharlesmn.org.

St. Charles Project Map 2021

Hwy 74 detour begins Feb. 1 for rehabilitation of four historic bridges in Whitewater State Park

ST. CHARLES, Minn. – Hwy 74 motorists traveling into Whitewater State Park north of St. Charles will be detoured beginning Monday, Feb. 1 for a historic bridge rehabilitation project, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The construction project is in Whitewater State Park near the south entrance. The road will be closed at the work zone during the project, which is expected to be completed in late October.

The work on the four bridges includes repair of floors and walls. Starting the project in the winter will make the work under the bridge easier as less water will be flowing than when the snow begins to melt in the spring. There will also be soil work and rock placement around the bridges to prevent erosion.

Northbound Hwy 74 motorists trying to access Whitewater State Park should follow the detour route:

  • Turn left on Winona County Road 22 west, which turns into Olmsted Country Road 9.
  • Turn right on Olmsted Country Road 10 north.
  • Turn right on Olmsted County Road 2 east, which turns into Winona County Road 39. This will bring motorists to the north entrance of Whitewater State Park, south of Elba.

The visitor center, camping areas, majority of trails and other amenities can be accessed from the north entrance of Whitewater State Park. Visit their website for contact information and park details.

Environmental Associates Inc. is the prime contractor on the $4.7 million project.

Motorists can find more information on the plans and sign up for email updates at the MnDOT project website.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation urges travelers to always drive with caution, and reminds everyone to:

  • Slow down when approaching every work zone, then navigate through with care and caution.
  • Stay alert; work zones constantly change.
  • Watch for workers and slow moving equipment.
  • Obey posted speed limits. Fine for a violation in a work zone is $300.
  • Minimize distractions behind the wheel.
  • Be patient; expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
  • Crews continue to follow the guidance of state and federal health officials to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For state highway road conditions in Minnesota, go to the MnDOT road conditions map, call 511 or visit mndot.gov.

To connect with MnDOT information, news and updates in southern Minnesota, visit:

 

St. Charles EDA CARES Act Small Business Relief Program

The St. Charles Economic Development Authority (EDA) announces the creation of the St. Charles EDA CARES Act Small Business Relief Program that will be open until October 2, 2020 at 5 p.m. All grant awards are intended to provide economic support and emergency relief for costs associated with critical business expenses or losses as a result of COVID-19. All St. Charles businesses that can demonstrate a financial loss due to COVID-19 with a physical location within city limits are encouraged to apply. Please see the attached program guidelines and application. For more information, contact Cris Gastner at cris.gastner@cedausa.com or call 651-764-5745.

2020 St. Charles EDA CARES Act Small Business

St. Charles CARES Small Business Program info sheet (003)

Small Business Relief Grants Program to Begin Accepting Applications on June 23

More than $60 million available in grants to small businesses affected by COVID-19

St. Paul – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has announced that the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program – which was approved by the Minnesota Legislature last week and signed by Governor Tim Walz on Tuesday – will begin accepting applications next week.

This program will provide $10,000 grants to small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. Half of the funding will go to businesses in Greater Minnesota and half to businesses in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area, as required by law.

Additional requirements include:

  • $18 million for businesses with six or fewer full-time employees
  • $10 million for minority business enterprises
  • $2.5 million for veteran-owned businesses
  • $2.5 million for women-owned businesses
  • $2.5 million for operators of indoor retail and food markets with an ethnic cultural emphasis

“Small businesses across our state urgently need this relief,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “DEED applauds the bipartisan action to pass this legislation, and we are grateful to Governor Walz for signing the bill quickly so we could immediately get this grant program up and running.”

The application period will begin on Tuesday, June 23 and close at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2 to fulfill the 10-day period required by the law. A randomized, computer-generated lottery process will be used to select eligible businesses that will receive awards. All awards will be administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit agencies, and the grant funds can be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar business expenses.

To be eligible, businesses must have a permanent physical location in Minnesota and be majority owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota. Businesses must be able to demonstrate hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Additional eligibility requirements and application information can be found online at DEED’s Small Business Relief Grants page.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more information about the agency and its services visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.

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Upon request, this information can be made available in alternate formats for people with disabilities by contacting the DEED Communications Office at 651-259-7161.

https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/press-releases/?id=437202

Additional Businesses Reopening Soon

Beginning on June 1, 2020

Restaurants and bars can reopen for outdoor service only as long as they:

  • Have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
  • Ensure a minimum of 6 feet of distance between tables
  • Limit on-premises capacity to no more than 50 persons
  • Limit table service to 4 persons, or 6 if part of one family unit
  • Require reservations in advance
  • Require workers to wear masks and strongly encourage masks be worn by customers

Personal care services (such as hair salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors) can reopen to provide services indoor as long as they:

  • Have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
  • Limit number of clients inside the business at any time to ensure 6 feet of distance between persons except when providing services
  • Reduce occupant capacity to no more than 25%
  • See clients by appointment only; do not allow walk-ins
  • Require workers and clients to wear masks at all times; do not provide services that cannot be performed without masks

Executive Order 20-56 allowed all retail stores, malls and other businesses that sell, rent, maintain and repair goods to open beginning on Monday, May 18 as long as they have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan including social distancing guidelines for workers and customers, and allow no more than 50% of the establishment’s occupant capacity at any time.

All businesses that have been allowed to reopen under previous Executive Orders, including Critical Sector businesses and non-Critical Sector industrial and office-based businesses, can continue operations as previously allowed. Further guidance on what businesses and activities are currently allowed can be found here.

All workers who have previously been working from home must continue doing so under Executive Order 20-56.

We must continue to protect public health as we turn the dials and allow more Minnesotans to safely return to work. The state continues to monitor a number of factors when allowing business to reopen, including sustained control of the rate of new infections and hospitalizations, enhanced ability to test and trace, sufficient health care capacity to handle resurgence, and best practices for social distancing that minimize the amount of time that people spend in close proximity to others.

Input from businesses, workers and community members is essential in making sure we do this right. Please provide your input or feedback about safely returning to work.

We have prepared a number of Frequently Asked Questions, which can be found on the Business and Worker pages below. If you have additional questions about Safely Returning to Work, please use this form.