Rochester Mayor’s Veto Calls for Demolishing Kutzky House
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) – Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede pulled out his veto pen Wednesday and used it to reverse two actions taken by the Rochester City Council Monday night.
One of his vetoes was directed at the City Council’s decision to deny an application for a demolition permit to tear down what’s left of a century old home known as the “Kutzky House.” The home was moved several years ago to accommodate an apartment project near the former Lourdes High School property.
It has sat vacant since and the condition of the structure has declined to the point the owner says the estimated cost of rehabilitating the house has risen to about $600,000. Despite that, the Council voted 4-2 to follow the recommendation of the City’s Historical Preservation Commission to deny the issuance of the demolition permit.
In his memo to the City Council, Mayor Brede agreed it is a travesty the home’s condition was allowed to deteriorate and acknowledged it could be a case of “demolition by neglect,” but he also stated that forcing, what he sees as a “public flogging” of the owners, serves no real purpose at this point. His veto of the Council’s action includes a recommendation the lot where the Kutzky house now sits be landscaped and transformed into a so-called “pocket park” for the Kutzky neighborhood.
The mayor also vetoed the City Council’s decision to spend $29,000 to install the equipment needed to video record and livestream the Council’s Committee of a Whole meetings, which are held in a smaller meeting room in City Hall. Brede says the current audio recordings of the meetings are adequate and the expenditure is unnecessary.