Hillmann announces Northfield school referendum. Last night the Northfield School board voted to start preparations to add a referendum for 2 purposes. The first is to repeal and replace the current operating levy and increase it to the maximum allowed. Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann said, “which is approximately $470.50 over current levy”. Hillmann said they would be doing it anyway in a couple of years adding, “we are coming to the community of Northfield to say you expect a world class education for our students, we do everything we can to
provide a world class education to our students. We want to make sure that our funding, in terms of our programming, is as sustainable and predictable for the next decade as possible”. He said the priority is programming. The second question will be around the Master Facilities Plan which will be to implement, “all of our Facilities Plan in one question, so $109 million total question at this point that would include the potential construction of a new high school”. The cost of the high school would be $78.5 million. It would also include a new elementary school on the same land as Greenvale Park. It would be about $30.5 million. The old school would then be used solely for early childhood education. Hillmann gave an estimate for taxpayers based on a $250,000 residence, ” approximately a $296 increase annually for 25 years because, what we’d be looking at, is bonding for that debt over 25 years”. The operating levy would increase by about another $237. They have to do a review and comment phase by the Dept. of Education. Hillmann has much more detailed information in his interview which is online at kymnradio.net.
Storms down power lines and trees
Despite ominous looking weather, Rice County fared pretty well. Sheriff Troy Dunn reported the southern portion of the County was hit a little harder. They had about 20 calls of downed trees, some power lines down and winds clocked at 62 mph. A couple of trees come down on cars in Faribault and Fire Chief Dustin Dienst reported responding to downed power lines as many of them were still “live” causing small fires, arching and smoking. Xcel Energy and first responders were on scene. Public works cleared streets and assisted with barricades. Other calls included fire alarms due to power outages and power spikes from lightning, people trapped in an elevator and one person was injured due to strong winds. His full press release is on kymnradio.net.
Oney clarifies Charter comment
KYMN ran a weeklong series of stories on the Charter Commission. Member Scott Oney was quoted saying that “it was like pulling teeth to get a quorum”, with the inference that they didn’t have enough members. He clarified his comment saying they did have enough members, at the time, but they didn’t always show up, including previous Charter member, Greg Colby. Oney said, “Greg never seemed too interested and eventually quit to do something else. I think he had a teaching conflict or something”. Oney talked about a possible lawsuit regarding subsidies received by the developer of the Fairfield Inn at The Crossings. He said, “it opens another avenue of discussion and also chronicles it. But if they lose money again this time on it the City, at least this time somebody would be on record saying they should have done it differently”. The Charter Commission meets the 4th Thursday of each month at 6 o’clock. The meetings are open to the public and Oney said the public is welcome to come to share any issues they have with the City. Ludescher, Charter member Lance Heisler and City Administrator Ben Martig will be meeting to discuss the recent appointments of Colby and Schotzko as Ludescher believes they ignored the Charter when they sent their applications directly to the District Judge who appointed them.
Y Kids Tri
The 8th Annual Y Kids Tri is June 24th. It’s a fun, non-competitive triathlon that’s all about getting kids ages 6 to 14 excited to get fit! They’ll experience a morning of encouragement, cheers and satisfaction of completing this swim, bike and run event. Kids are encouraged to train during the summer, so it’s a great way for family to get fit together. The event begins at 8:30am at Old Memorial Park Pool (plan to arrive early so you can prepare). To Register and for more information visit the Y’s website at northfieldymca.org/healthy/events/y-kids-tri/