Northfielder charged with burglary and failing to register as a sex offender
A Northfield man charged with 1st and 2nd degree burglary as well as drug possession and harassment has also been charged with failing to register as a sex offender. According to the Rice County inmate listing, 40 year old Dale Robert Voracek is now charged with 4 felonies. The complaint says that Voracek broke into 2 homes in Nerstrand. One rented by 2 men who found him slamming doors in the house and yelling a womans name. They asked him to leave and witnessed him walking to another home on Lamb Avenue where they presumed he lived. Officers were called Sunday to take report of the incident. The owner of the home on Lamb Avenue was called and said she hadn’t been there for 5 days and has a restraining order against Voracek. Officers found the home had been ransacked with motor oil poured on clothing, another substance on walls and the carpeting and a basement window broken. Voracek was arrested at his last known address in Northfield yesterday where police found evidence of methamphetamine. If convicted of the most serious crime he could face up to 20 years in prison and/or a $35,000 fine but not less than 6 months in jail.
A new City website would be more user friendly
The City Council met for a work session last night. City staff and a consultant have been updating their IT department and will be creating a more interactive website for the public. Civic Plus was selected as the platform provider. They have experience dealing with government sites and are used by 24 cities in Minnesota including Burnsville. An interesting component to their design is that it’s customizable to the user. You can still access the entire website. $50,000 was budgeted for this revamp of the website. IT Director Elizabeth Wheeler says, including start up costs and maintenance the cost came in at less than $35,000. Civic Plus also offers free updates. A local firm also submitted an RFP, however, Mayor Rossing said that they had no experience with a government website and the start up costs would have been too high.
The council could approve the contract next week. They will then seek out citizen focus groups and could be in place by the end of the year.
Council open to studying a Fire Agreement on neutral territory
The Fire Service Agreement discussion was about forming a study group to look into becoming one large Fire District and what that might look like between the cities including Dennison and Dundas and the 7 surrounding townships. While the entire Northfield city council agreed that the study group should go in with no pre-conditions, in a letter to the council from the townships, they proposed an agreement that would have certain criteria that includes provisions for personnel, equipment and facilities. They also prefer a Joint Powers arrangement. While the townships also suggested a group of 7 to 9 people to develop an agreement, Northfield council prefers to form a study group first that would include 2 representatives from the Northfield council, 2 from the townships and 1 each from Dundas and Dennison. The feeling of the council was that all parties should come into the study as neutral. Rossing wanted to make it clear that this was not a city-led issue but that it comes more from the township representatives and the rural fire board. Should a consultant need to be hired, the belief is that it should be a shared cost. The entire meeting is archived online at kymnradio.net.
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