Will residents warm to the possibility of a new Ice Arena in Northfield? The question could go to the voters of Northfield AND Dundas this year. Advisory board members spoke to the Dundas Council this week regarding a ½ cent sales tax to fund it. A resolution to send it to voters will go to Northfield Council on May 1st and Dundas on May 14th. Mayor Pownell was in studio yesterday and commented, “and really it’s about a community arena, not an ice arena, because there really are a lot of multiple users that utilize the arena or could use it in a much more strategic way to
bring in increased tourism, sports tourism”. An outside consultant assessed the current arena, which has multiple issues, not the least of which is the overall condition of the building. Arena Advisory Board member, Chris Kennelly, who owns Northfield Construction, remarked on reconditioning it, “I mean it’s feasible. I look at it from the business standpoint of it. I kinda think it’s putting good money after bad to put any money into that arena with all the issues that make it substandard and the fact that an expansion or doing anything to it does not get you a second sheet, does not alleviate the parking problem and doesn’t really solve the overall issue of the age of the building and condition really makes it not a good business choice to proceed with “. After looking at several options, the Advisory Board recommends a new 2-sheet Ice Arena on land that was donated to the Hockey Association. A one-sheet is around $16 million but total project would be $21 million. One of the arguments in favor of 2 sheets is the dollars that tournaments would bring in. Kennelly says they could host about 8 tournaments a year bringing in 12 to 16 teams for each tournament. The study they looked at a potential economic benefit of between $1.3 to 1.8 million a year. He said, “that’s quite an economic driver”. Seventy percent of a ½ cent sales tax would go toward the arena, 30% would be for other park and recreation projects. There would also be a property tax referendum for Northfield residents only. A decision to put it to the voters must be made by August for a November vote. Kennelly said other funding, in particular for the 2nd sheet, would come from grants and private donations.
Nfld Golf Club takes over driving range – opening Saturday
It’s finally warming up for golf courses and the Northfield Golf Club has exciting news. General Manager Dan Dols announced that they’ve taken over the Twin Oaks Driving Range! Open since 1926, this will be the first time, the local course will have its own driving range! Dols said, “Mike and Kay Peterson and ourselves have worked out an agreement for a long term lease for us to take over the driving range and incorporate it with the golf club and also with the community”. They’ll be able to share memberships between the range and the course. Dols was also really excited about the new coordination they’ll have with teaching options to the colleges and the School Districts golf teams. Dols said the Petersons did a great job for 26 years. He added that the farm is an “Historic Farm”, so they aren’t able to buy it but will have a long term lease. The Northfield Golf Club is opening Saturday morning at 9 o’clock.
Bly and Daniels seats are opening – filing coming up
District 20b Representative David Bly’s seat is up for election this November. He will not be running again. Northfield pastor Todd Lippert has announced his candidacy. Filing is May 22nd through June 5th. District 24b Representative Brian Daniels seat is also up for election. For filing information go to the Rice County website. I have a link from kymnradio.net. Rice County filing information