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Request for Connection Bridge to Local Brewery

September 16, 2019 05:06 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Local breweries have been popping up all across Rochester the past few years. Now, one brewery wants to make a small change to benefit its customers.

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“Being able to connect the community directly to our brewery is a major goal in what we do," Little Thistle Owner Steven Finnie said.

Little Thistle Brewing Company has been open for more than a year in Rochester and Finnie is hoping to add a small fixture to make his brewery more accessible to the public.

"When I first looked at the piece of property here, one of the things that me and my wife were looking for to build a brewery was something that was close to a bike path," Finnie said.

Instead of a clear path, Finnie said customers heading to Little Thistle from the Douglas Trail have to walk around the block, or through the grassy ditch to get to and from the brewery.

“We already have people walking down there to try to get to our space so it makes sense to have something where people can safely cross," Finnie said. "We designed the space so that we could build the bridge directly over and we haven't been able to and right now we've been in negotiations with the city.”

On Monday, the Rochester City Council will review a request that would give Little Thistle permission to place about a ten-foot long bridge from the bike path to the brewery along 14th Street northwest.

"What we're doing is something called a revocable permit," Rochester City Council Member Michael Wojcik said.

Wojcik and his fellow city councilor, Nick Campion co-authored the request.

"We basically put their bridge connecting to our land. We do that for a lot of other things as well and we try to write it to be flexible as possible," Wojcik said.

City councilors and Finnie said adding the bridge would make it easier for the community to experience a local business and promote exercise.

"We want to make it easier for people to get to make it easier for people to experience Rochester by bike and enjoy a local brewery,” Wojcik said.  

"It really is a community meeting space, so to be able to make this connection, and for people to be able to come on foot or bike, [that] also promotes healthy activity and it promotes that anyone can just step off the trail and come here," Finnie said.  

On Monday, the council will vote on whether or not they'll take those plans to the next step. Finnie said he expects Little Thistle to pay for most of the cost of the bridge construction.

In addition to the request for Little Thistle, the council will take on some other important items.

During a city council study session this afternoon, council members will look at survey results of possibly changing the way garbage is collected throughout the city to one vehicle, rather than multiple garbage haulers, to cut down on street reconstruction over the years.

And this evening at the regular council meeting, members will review the preliminary budget for 2020, and time-permitting, councilors may revisit discussions on creating a Rochester Downtown Historic Landmark District.

The City Council Study Session is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m., followed a few hours later by the City Council Meeting at 7 p.m.

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