A lot of voices with varied opinions must be drilled down to form a 3 to 5 year strategic plan. The next step is how. After a joint focus group with the Northfield City Council, the planning commission and the EDA, City staff and council will now work to define their vision and goals for the next few years. There’s a clear divide on the definition of growth. Administrator Ben Martig said they’ll be questioning staff on their thoughts from an operational angle. Also, although
they don’t have a date yet, there will be a public survey taken. They’ll do data collection to get trends, demographic data, internal city operations. That’s all in preparation for a retreat Council will hold on May 9th and 10th. The plan is to come out with some clear goals and objectives. Staff will then work with Craig Rapp, the consultant to prepare a work plan with tasks to fit the goals. They’ll come back in mid-June with Council to put the pieces of the strategic work plan together and by the end of June, the hope is to have a product ready to go leading into their 2018 budget process.
We’ll design it but you pay for it
The City of Dundas has to relocate their “pressure release valve” (utility) in anticipation of the reconstruction of County road 1 between Hwys 3 and 246. They’ve also been in talks with Rice County, who is overseeing the project, about the location and design of street lights at Stafford Road. Administrator John McCarthy said, “the county wanted to know how the City would like to handle that because they’d like to be able to design for it but they still want the City to pay for it”. The County will pay for lighting at the roundabout. But they require any other lighting at intersections in Dundas, Bridgewater Township and Northfield be paid for by the local government. The project, scheduled to begin in 2018, comes with a high price tag at just over $5 million.
Nfld District honors
The Northfield School Board met this week and were able to hand out a couple of awards. Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann said their Finance Department, once again, won the MN Dept. of Ed. School Finance Award for their exemplary performance. Good financial management is a byproduct of doing the right things on a day to day basis and making good long term projections and following through. Hillmann said the Northfield School District handles a $50 million budget. Another recognition is from Education Minnesota. They announced their 11 finalists for 2017 Teacher of the Year. Northfield High School Social Studies teacher, Sarah Swan-McDonald is in the running. The program starts with 132 people who’ve been recognized by their local peers, there are then 37 semi-finalists. Hillmann said she’s an excellent ambassador for public education. The winner will be announced May 7th.