As the Cannon recedes, the City gears up for clean up
Police Chief Monte Nelson said it will take months for a full recovery. That clean up will happen in stages along the River Walk and the park areas. In addition there will be sandbag cleanup, however those will stay in place for at least another week. There’s still a lot of water coming from Waterville and Morristown. Some of the water from the storage areas will also be flowing into the Cannon. The main message is that the river is still flowing at the same rate, 10’s of thousands of cubic feet per second. Barricades will remain in place along Water Street between the dam and 5th street. Additionally
they have to leave the river walks closed on both sides because there’s too much river “debris” including mud, sand and “slime”. Nelson said “you don’t want to walk in that”. The River Walk Market Fair MAY be on for Saturday but we’ll keep you posted. City Administrator Ben Martig has only been here since May, and while he knew flooding would come with the job, “I was hoping it would be within the first few months”. One take away he has is how tremendously impressed he is by the preparation and response of City staff and business owners. Public Works Director Dave Bennett said he thought overall it went well. They also had to sandbag the Safety Center. Again, stay clear of the river and respect the barriers in place and stay off the sandbags and poly barriers. Martig was impressed with Northfield Shares in their volunteer coordination efforts. [The Cannon was at 897.83 at 10:30am today]
Dundas evades major damage by flood
While the river news has been focused on Northfield, Dundas has been lucky to have no reports of flooded basements but there’s been some damage and they closed two parks. Administrator John McCarthy said the Regional Park and Memorial Park are closed. The water is a foot less than the 2010 flood but a foot more than the 2014 level. The baseball field and the patio area will need work. He added that the new structure at the new regional park with Northfield was put up on Monday and it had already flooded by Friday. They’re assessing any damage now. McCarthy added that they’ve also learned a lot from past years and the new gauges have helped a lot with predictions of what will happen. The communities have kept in communication to aid each other.
NAFRS Taxing District still on the table
There are many considerations before NAFRS, Northfield Area Fire and Rescue Services decides whether to become a Taxing Authority. The Board, along with many community members, heard from the Cloquet Fire Chief, whose service area serves as the template for the legislation to become a Taxing District. They also heard from Jody Wagner with the Rice County Auditor’s office. The entities in the Cloquet District all pay the same rate. That would mean the cost to Northfield goes down while the townships would see an increase. Chair Glen Castore said, however, that’s for a very different level of service. In Northfield the response time is 4 to 8 minutes, for the rural area it’s 12 to 15 minutes. He mentioned at the meeting that, by State Statute, they could designate different rates for open space/ag land. The biggest hurdle for the Cloquet district was “identity and control” according to Cloquet Fire Chief. They started with 7 interested entities but only the 3 towns decided to join. Castore said they had some obstacles to overcome. Some groups weren’t satisfied with the compromises made so they chose not to join. NAFRS joint powers board will hold their regular meeting tomorrow. On the agenda is further discussion on a taxing authority. Castore’s full interview is online at kymnradio.net.
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