The Northfield City Council will hold a strategic planning work session tonight with the Planning Commission and the EDA. The meeting will follow a focus group format as Staff and council look to gather their opinions, beliefs and attitudes about Northfield in general but with a special focus on growth and development. The information will be used by the Council as work on their 3 year strategic plan. Sample questions to stimulate discussion will include the varying
visions each group has for the City. Due to the number of people involved, the work session will be held in the Northfield police station conference room from 6 to 9pm. There’s no equipment to stream the meeting live on the City’s website. The public is welcome to attend but not to speak at work sessions. Mayor Pownell and City Administrator Ben Martig will be in studio at 7:20 tomorrow morning with a recap.
Dundas modernizes code to welcome “a better idea”
As the City of Dundas continues to tweak their zoning codes with the changing face of the old K-Mart, City Administrator John McCarthy said, “we look at our City code and our Zoning code as a Work in Progress. It isn’t something that is cut in stone and if somebody comes along with a better idea, I think the Council is very willing to look at the better idea”. They recently allowed a religious institution be in the commercial district near an incoming liquor store. In terms of taxes, McCarthy said, “if it’s an exempt organization that owns the property itself, then it’s going to be tax exempt”. However, as they are “renting” the space, they will pay their portion of taxes. McCarthy added that they’re also able to modernize their code to allow some other uses that they hadn’t recognized before such as assembly areas that are more social than religious. To hear more go to kymnradio.net and click on John McCarthy’s interview.
Goodhue County quarantined due to EAB
As the Emerald Ash Borer continues to march through Minnesota’s Ash trees, the latest quarantined county is Goodhue. An MDA employee noticed an ash tree in Red Wing with significant woodpecker damage, a tell-tale sign of possible EAB infestation. The USDA officially confirmed the insect to be emerald ash borer and put the County in quarantine in March. EAB showed itself in Dakota County in 2015 which also meant a small portion of Northfield was under quarantine. While Northfield is on heightened alert, Rice County is yet to be quarantined. As road projects get underway, the City has identified trees in danger and they’re being removed. The Farmington Council voted to remove 320 Ash trees in poor condition that are less than 15 inches in diameter. The cost is about $128,000. Trees larger than 15 inches could receive an injectible treatment. For more information about EAB go to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture website.
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