KRLT to host big fundraising event

Posted 8/4/21

Sold out show features Charlie Berens RIVER FALLS – On Tuesday, July 27, the River Falls City Council passed a resolution to provide assistance to the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust for a big …

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KRLT to host big fundraising event


Sold out show features Charlie Berens

RIVER FALLS – On Tuesday, July 27, the River Falls City Council passed a resolution to provide assistance to the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust for a big fundraising event on Sept. 9.

The KRLT will hold the event at First National Bank of River Falls Field, featuring headliner comedian and Emmy award-winning journalist Charlie Berens, host of the “Manitowoc Minute.” Event tickets went on sale in June, but are already sold out. A total of 1,425 tickets were purchased.

“It’s a way to do some fundraising for our public preserves,” said KRLT Executive Director Charlene Simonson.

The KRLT is a community-based land trust dedicated to working with the community to conserve and protect the beauty and health of the Kinnickinnic River and its watershed, according to its website.

The KRLT works with landowners, private organizations and governmental bodies to conserve clean water, wildlife, recreation, natural areas, trout, beauty and family farms. Founded in 1993, it has more than 600 members and has protected more than 2,800 acres and more than 9.5 miles of river bank.

The Sept. 9 event will be held from 5-9:30 p.m. with the opening bands taking the stage 5:30-6:15 p.m. Tommy Bentz and Todd Andrews are the openers, Simonson said. An opening comedian will perform 6:30-6:45 p.m. Food and drinks will be provided by Smokey Treats BBQ, Rush River Brewery and Swinging Bridge Brewery.

All funds raised will support KRLT’s efforts to build accessibility within public nature preserves, such as Trumpeter Swan, Kelly Creek, Drewiske and the newly acquired Community Forest, which KRLT purchased in January 2021. Projects to improve accessibility include bridges, parking, trails, signage, as well as restoring prairie and oak savannas.

The Community Forest is a 40-acre parcel of old growth forest in the lower river canyon downstream from River Falls. It contains 1,500 feet of river frontage and the mouth of Rocky Branch creek. The land connects the River Falls School Forest to Glen Park and River Hills Park.

“It’s a place where we’ve really been actively working, along with others, to improve access,” Simonson said. “We are upgrading trails that all folks can use. We’re really wanting to provide more resources and create more opportunities for folks here in River Falls to get out, stretch their legs, enjoy the Kinni and catch their breath.”

The city’s role in the event will be to provide use of the park shelters, barricades, traffic cones and picnic tables. Since eventgoers will have permission to park at Meyer Middle School and Greenwood Elementary, the police department will be asked to help people cross Division Street safely to the venue.

Alderperson Scott Morrissette asked Simonson to recognize the city in its advertising and to partner with the city down the road during the dam removal.

To learn more about KRLT, visit

City audit After a presentation on the 2020 city audit from a Baker Tilly representative, the council voted unanimously to pass a resolution approving and accepting the audited financial report for Jan. 1Dec. 31, 2020. The representative said the city’s finance department records are in excellent shape, especially considering they were done 100 percent remotely.

According to a city memo, he following is a summary of the City’s financial condition at the end of 2020:

•The city as a whole (governmental and business-type funds) ended the fiscal year with an overall increase in net position of $7 million. This increase is an aggregate result of $4.3 million reduction in total expenses and $2.1 million increase in total revenues.

•At the close of 2020, the General Fund ending fund balance was $12.1 million, an increase of $1.5 million; the increase was largely due to short-term cost containment strategies implemented in 2020 as a result of global financial uncertainty stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

•During 2020, the city issued $5.74 million of general obligation debt. The financing uses are as follow:

•Police Station $3,040,000

•Refunding of Existing Debt at lower rates $2,045,000

•Fire Engine $655,000 The refinancing of the existing debt at lower rates is expected to result in an economic gain of $350,298 (difference between the present value of the debt service payments on the old and new debt).

•The city’s enterprise funds closed the year with operating income of $1,450,311, and a change in net position of $1,289,168. Short-term cost containment initiatives helped offset the reduction in revenues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other business

•The council voted to adopt an ordinance amendment, approving two “No parking here to corner” zones on Meadows Drive at its intersections with Meredith Circle.

•The council voted to adopt an ordinance amendment, approving a no parking zone on Dry Run Road between Division Street and the city boundary.

•The council approved a resolution for the renewal of the city’s property and casualty insurance with Travelers Companies (Travelers) for property, inland marine, boiler and machinery, general liability, employee benefits, commercial automobile, worker’s compensation, umbrella, professional liability, and crime insurance and AXIS Insurance Company (Axis) for cyber insurance during the 2021-2022 policy term.

•The council heard a first reading of an ordinance amendment that would require a public hearing be held at the first reading, rather than the second reading, of proposed city ordinances. The purpose would be to create a more substantive and meaningful opportunity for citizens to offer input in the city’s policymaking process. Alderperson Sean Downing said a hearing should be held at both the first and second readings.

•The council adopted a resolution approving the lease agreement for Bearcat Investments, LLC, dba The Garage Bikes & Brews.

•The council adopted a resolution approving a certified survey map variance in the extraterritorial subdivision jurisdiction in the town of Clifton for David and Karin Meyer, fourth generation farmers with 284 contiguous acres. The CSM will create a 3.2acre lot on their farm for their daughter to construct a home so that she may one day take over the farm.

•The council approved Mayor Dan Toland’s reappointment of Brenda Gaulke to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board through May 2024.

•The council convened to closed session to discuss River Falls Industrial Park Lot A and 716 N. Main St.