The Northfield School Board made it official. On November 7th there will be two questions added to the ballot. The District will be asking the community for an operating levy increase and a substantial $109 million for facilities. Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann said the first question will be to “revoke and replace” the current operating levy with an increase per pupil of $470.15 for 10 years. The previous levy was approved in 2011 at just under $1500. If voted in, the new levy would add up to an additional $1.8 million. The $109 million request is for a potential new
High School, a new Greenvale Elementary School and repurposing the old building for Early childhood education as well as improvements to Sibley, Bridgewater, Summit/Greenvale to make it into the Early Childhood Center and at Longfellow. Board Chair Julie Pritchard called it an historic vote saying, as a Board, they didn’t take lightly asking the community for a levy and bond. She said it’s the most difficult decision they make as a Board. Adding that she’s proud of their transparent process. Their entire interview is online at kymnradio.net. You’ll be hearing more about the significant requests in the coming months.
NAFRS finalizes budget and adds a couple of cool tools
NAFRS finalized their 2018 budget last week. Board Chair Glen Castore said they set their Operating Budget t at $525,000 a year, the same as it’s been. The next step is for each of the 3 partners, Rural, Dundas and Northfield to approve it. The Board approved a small Capital budget of $26,000 for two items. One is a Heads Up display for firefighters. Castore explains that they’re buying 6 new masks that have an integrated infrared camera inside them with a “heads up” display. Right now, they have hand held infrared cameras, impairing their ability to carry other tools. The new masks are about $1600 a piece. The other item is a tool for teaching people how to use a fire extinguisher. Castore says it’s a unit that you “flip a switch” and a fire comes on a digital display. The user then points a fire extinguisher at the screen and if it’s in the right place, the fire goes out… if not, it doesn’t! It’s a mobile unit that will allow them to train people inside all year long. Firefighters train many new college students as well as local businesses. Many of whom get insurance breaks for training of employees. And here’s the video of the Digital fire extinguisher training courtesy of NAFRS nafrs.org
PUD approval delayed for parking and walkability
Dundas City Council discussed a housing development proposed by DeMann Properties LLC. City Administrator John McCarthy it’s a mixed variety of single level homes. The Planning Commission held a hearing last week to consider awarding a PUD but, McCarthy said, it wasn’t “fleshed out enough” for them to make a recommendation to the Council. So it was delayed as they require some changes in the plan that include increasing walkability as well as increasing the internal parking. It will be a private street. It’s a “common interest community”, meaning an association that maintains the roads, the exterior of the homes, etc. McCarthy said they felt the parking was inadequate for the number of homes. There are other issues and he hopes to meet with the Developer before the next Planning Commission meeting. The location is along Railway Street N. about a quarter mile back from the Cannon River at the Old DeMann Farm. Zoning Administrator report