Multiple sites for Muni discussed
The Northfield City Council had a lengthy discussion regarding possible Liquor Store sites. They were presented with 10 possibilities, 5 of which met all 4 Council goals. Liquor Operations Director Stephen DeLong’s preferences for further analysis were the Q-Block, Econo Foods lot and the Amcon site. The analysis would include acquisition, demolition, environmental study, ballpark construction costs, operating costs and a cash flow analysis. He added as an alternative he would be happy to include 1 or 2 more sites raising the analysis to 5. “It seems like a lot and normally…. the way this process works is the City narrows it down to 3 or 4”. Council had a hard time narrowing it down, although most appeared uninterested in the Amcon site due to a number of issues. Seven sites were estimated at generating over $4 million in sales with nearly $5 million projected at the Q-block site. Mayor Pro Tem Ludescher added, “I don’t know what the Council’s view on it is, we haven’t talked about in detail whether or not we are going to build a new liquor store, whether we want to but I think the first step is maybe just see if we can make money before we decide if we want to do it or not”. Dakota Worldwide consultant Elliot Olson, who conducted the study, told Council, “I think for long term survival, if you want a Muni, you need to get bigger”. The Chamber of Commerce site was also bandied about as an option with Nakasian pushing for it to connect with a possible future transportation hub, however the intersection in the area is also set to change. The MnDot site at the corner of Hwy 3 and Woodley was also brought up. Recently they’ve given indication that they would sell it. Two councilors were interested in THAT site for a new Fire Station but that’s another discussion entirely. Councilor DeLong thought it inappropriate for Council to narrow down the list at a work session but rather vote on it at a meeting. That would allow the public to comment. Ludescher said, “I think what’s going to happen is, staff is going to bring it back for the Council to try to narrow it down to 3 sites”. Stephen DeLong wants it narrowed and so did most of the Council. You can view the full report by Elliot Olson here. Dakota Worldwide Liquor Store Study
MnDot’s okay for School Speed zone opens possibilities
Once MnDot gave the go-ahead and Northfield Council approved it, creating a School Speed Zone on Hwy 246 has been moving along quickly. The zone would start south of the Middle School to north of the High school. Superintendent Chris Richardson said the speed will be lowered and signs will be posted. They also need to provide MnDot with a plan for crossings of Hwy 246. They are considering a crossing on the south end that would get kids from east of 246 to the Middle school. It would be at Anderson Drive. They’re also considering a north end crossing. MnDot’s okay has opened up many possibilities. The District intends on getting public input and will be engaging parents and citizens in upcoming discussions.
Dundas approves deed restrictions
The Dundas Council took care of the new year administrative business and approved deed restrictions for land parcels attached to the regional park in order to start getting the grant dollars for land purchases. City Administrator John McCarthy says this means that they agreed to utilize the land only for what’s specified in the grant agreement. Northfield passed a similar resolution last week.
Rice County Hort Day
As we get through our cold snap, Rice County is sending out information on their Horticulture Day coming up March 12th. It will be held at Buntrock Commons from 8:30 to 3:15. There are 4 seminars, plenty of interaction and lots of garden ideas plus lunch. For more information go to Rice County Master Gardeners U of M facebook page.
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