The final candidate forum for Northfield Councilor-at-Large was held yesterday. Greg Colby, Jon Denison and Don McGee answered about a dozen questions ranging from the Waterford Township agreement to a possible new municipal liquor store, economic development to workforce housing and more. Opinions also varied on the recently adopted strategic plan and the preliminary 8.5% levy. The forum was recorded and is online at kymnradio.net. Each
candidate was also on the Morning Show with Jeff Johnson. Asked about the levy, McGee commented that, by his calculations, in the first 6 months of 2017, the City has spent $450,000 less than was budgeted, which, projected out, would be $900,000 by the end of the year, “I believe the city is collecting enough money to cover everything. I think there’s a surplus every year that gets plowed back into the General Fund… where does this money come from? You’ve got a million and a half for the library, you’ve got a million for the East Cannon River Trail”. He would propose no increase this year. Colby remarked that 6% of that levy is for City employee wages. An earlier pay study said Northfield didn’t match up with similar cities. Colby said, “and I believe that we looked at some cities like Owatonna, Faribault. You have to keep up, people can live in Northfield and travel long distances to go to work. If you don’t pay your employees, they’re not going to stay”. Jon Denison countered with, “Council sells it as a raise for the employees, you’ve got to keep your good employees if you don’t compensate them appropriately, and I’m all for that, but I think 8.5% I don’t view it as raising the levy to pay your employees, I view it as a budgeting issue, what are your real priorities? They’ve given$1.5 million in tax incentives to this hotel”. There are 3 distinct choices. Listen to their full interviews on kymnradio.net and vote on November 7th.
St. Dom kids create “moving museum”
For each of the past 6 years, St. Dominic School partners with the City of Northfield’s Maintenance department to create a moving museum by painting the plows. Advancement Director, Kati Reak, said the students choose the artist, research them, they vote on what picture they’ll use, they paint … they “do it all”. There are about 50 kids in grades 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th who take part. There are 9 plows in total painted with a one-inch brush. Reak said, “it’s a cool project and the kids love it”. Check out pictures below!
As City looks at Hwy 246 & Jefferson – MnDot study numbers show roundabouts improve safety
As the City of Northfield continues to work on safety details for the Hwy 246 and Jefferson Pkwy intersection, a roundabout has garnered a lot of attention. Most council members, City officials and engineering consultants are in favor of it, but there are community members still very leery of the idea. A recent study by MnDot indicates that single-lane roundabouts such as the one proposed, reduces right-angle crashes by 69 percent; left turn crashes by 83 percent and injury crashes by 61%. For all roundabout types, there was a 42 percent reduction in the injury crash rates. MnDOT’s roundabout study is the largest conducted in the state to date. Data from 144 individual sites were collected. The full press release Roundabouts reducing crashes saving lives final