As Forest Lake and Montgomery struggle to decide whether to drop their police departments in favor of their respective County Sheriff’s departments, the City of Morristown has chosen to contract with the Rice County Sheriff’s department for their full time police protection. Sheriff Troy Dunn said due to changes, the City was left with just 1 part-time officer and needed to decide whether to hire on or contract out the services. After a public meeting and 2 council meetings they voted 3 to 2 to contract for 60 hours a week, which means Dunn must hire another deputy.
Dunn says he’ll provide a dedicated officer who will provide policing services in the City of Morristown, whether it be driving around in a squad car, walking, doing business checks; similar to what a police department might do. The Sheriff’s Department already covers many towns when their own police officers are off duty. The difference is Morristown is paying for an intown deputy. Dunn added, “the training they provide versus the training I’m able to provide with the Sheriff’s department is significantly more because we have money set aside for specialized training in additional things. We have an Investigations Unit here where a smaller department, they don’t have the resources. It’s the officer who does everything”. (That includes time out of the city for court, etc.) This isn’t an uncommon situation in the State as many Minnesota towns contract with their County Sheriff’s departments. Dunn said the biggest misconception is that the Deputy could be coming from anywhere in the County. The truth is a deputy will be in Morristown for 60 hours a week. Dunn will be educating and assuring the citizens and businesses as they wait for the County Board to sign the contract next week. The start date is May 2nd. Population of the town is 987.
Big day brings big dig
Tomorrow is a big day for developers of the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Northfield. Rebound Enterprises Managing Principal, Brett Reese said that after working with staff and partnering with many others for a year and a half, “April 21st plans are to close on the fulfillment of the development agreement with the City of Northfield, the first mortgage with Midwest Bank, investments by both St. Olaf and Carleton College along with the purchase of the land and the equity investments by the owners”. The contractor is Lexstar. Reese said, “and they plan to start construction next week. It’s a one year project with the opening expected to be in April of 2018”. The Northfield Council gave final approval this week for the CUP to build a floodproof underground parking garage. Administrator Ben Martig said there will be plenty of other administrative duties but the final hurdle for City approval is over. We’ll hear more from the developer next week.
Tanzenwald Brewing holds Grand Opening today
Five years, lots of labor and a love of good beer, good food and good friends and the Tanzenwald Brewing Company will hold their Grand Opening today! Located in the old creamery on Hwy 3, the interior has been completely transformed with lovely woodwork, artwork and chandeliers that showcase dancing trees, as the name Tanzenwald means in German. A gleaming kitchen and beaming Chef are managed by Jenaveve Pittman. The German inspired food is 90% locally sourced. Brewmaster, Steve Pittman presides over the shiny brew tanks, working to create craft beers as he’s done for years. The pair met in California, although they’re both from LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Doors open at 3 this afternoon. There will be music all weekend beginning with local favorite, Mark Allen.