ROCHESTER, Minnesota – Revival of a local landmark and deer hunting in Rochester Parks. There were an array of interesting decisions made by Med City executives in an additional meeting late Monday night.

Agreement to reactivate castle theater approved

Council members eventually struck a deal with a local nonprofit to reactivate Rochester’s historic Chateau Theater.

The iconic space has remained largely empty since fall 2020, when its former operator suspended operations amid the pandemic. City staff have had an operating agreement with Rochester’s Threshold Arts since January, when the council first agreed to allow the organization to manage the castle.

The deal approved Monday night will see the non-profit breathe new life into the theater over the next three years. In addition to serving as an event venue, Threshold plans to make the Castle a community common space activated daily with educational experiences, art exhibits, local retail and other amenities, including meeting spaces. public.

As the operating agreement moves forward, the city is asking DMC to fund additional upgrades to the Chateau Theater, creating a turnkey environment that increases flexibility in rental opportunities.

Council approves deer hunting in parks

The city will invite archers to Rochester parks to hunt deer this fall.

Tonight council members approved a pilot program to manage the local deer population through controlled hunting between mid-September and the end of this year.

The hunt will be managed by the Rochester Archery Club, which will take place at about ten city-owned properties. Security measures will include signs, tape and closure when the hunt takes place.

The Rochester Police Department says there were 268 deer-related car crashes in the city in 2021. With reported deer problems increasing in recent years, city staff say options are limited when it comes to finding long-term solutions.

“Conflicts include destruction of natural habitat, vehicle accidents, risk of transmission of tick-borne Lyme disease, damage to landscaping and trees, and declining herd health. due to overcrowding,” read a report prepared for council members. “Cost-effective models for deer population control were examined. Non-lethal methods are inconsistent and ineffective in providing a long-term solution unless combined with lethal control measures. Urban communities across the United States have had success with controlled bow hunts.”

However, there are still outstanding questions on how to handle certain scenarios that may arise throughout the program. A lingering concern is how best to prevent injured deer from falling onto private property.

“Wherever there is housing nearby, these are [areas] we’ll probably have to do a little more notification, and try to work with surrounding neighbors. Maybe have a little more security in terms of where stalls can be allowed as well, if we don’t want somebody setting up a stall right next to somebody’s property, and try to move them further away from the current owners who are around the surrounding areas,” said Jeff Lein, a member of the Rochester Archery Club. “Hopefully we can somehow find areas where we’re away from people’s backyards.”

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources supports the hunt, according to the city. Participants will need to be at least 18 years old, pass a bowhunting proficiency test, and successfully complete a state-sponsored training course.

The parks that will serve as bowhunting sites are yet to be determined. The city will begin accepting applications from interested archers in early August, with a lottery to fill limited places in the middle of the month.

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