The owner of 1900 Sibley View Lane had his turn to speak last night at the Northfield City Council meeting. He objected to his 2017 street assessment. The owner said, “is that reasonable that at 84 feet I pay $6206 but the study property pays $4640 at 80 feet? Now, across the street from me….. he has 135 feet at the curb, his assessment is $5626, $600 less than my assessment of $6206. How did this happen?” With a curved frontage, the city takes the measurement at the midpoint of the shortest side of the lot line. City
Staff said they followed the process and stood by their original assessment but it could reasonably be re-assessed at $5,220. That’s $986 less, a compromise from what the property owner felt was fair. Councilors expressed an interest in working on a new, more equitable, assessment policy. They voted in favor of of the lowered assessment but there followed a very lengthy discussion regarding the rest of the assessments. Councilor DeLong brought forth an amendment for several other properties saying they were unfairly assessed, however, none of those property owners registered a complaint. We’ll have more on that coming up. Mayor Pownell and Admin Martig’s interview is online at kymnradio.net. View the entire meeting on the City’s website.
Work scheduled to begin early next year on Fire Station
NAFRS joint powers has set a timeline for the rehab and addition to the Fire Station at Hwy 19 and 5th street in Northfield. It’s their hope to begin early next year in late February or early March. Chair Glen Castore said there’s much to do before they can start including going out for bids in late November/early December, get contractors on board for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, stonework and landscaping. Choices for the stonework and landscaping will be made within the next several weeks. Castore said first up, they’ll empty out the basement, get it prepared and install a new HVAC system. Part of the floodproofing is to close off the exterior doors and build up the land around it. Another decision will be the foundation for the addition. There are two choices but, Castore said, they’ll likely go for geo piers. It’s the same type that are being used for the foundation at the new Fairfield Inn & Suites. The final design, which Castore says is 95% complete, will then need approval by the Joint Powers which is Northfield, Rural and Dundas. The City of Northfield owns the building and all building contracts will go through them. The City is bonding for the work, which could be up to $3.5 million. NAFRS will then make payments to the City.
Carbon fee and dividend explained
In this week’s series on Climate Change, Alan Anderson talked about solutions for lowering the amount of cO2 released into the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels is the most significant cause of rising temperatures. The cO2 level that’s there now won’t come down and whatever temperature Earth winds up at, will be the new normal. However, reductions now will stop the planet from getting hotter. Anderson said there’s an urgency to get it done while we still have a “friendly climate”, because “if we arrive at an ugly one, there’s no fixing it really”. Anderson says we need to replace fossil fuels with renewable non-carbon energy such as solar, wind, geothermal, nuclear and hydro. The GOP Climate Leadership Council and Citizens Climate Lobby agree the best solution is with a revenue-neutral Carbon fee and dividend. There would be a $15 fee per ton of fossil fuel coming up from our soil or into our ports. That fee would then be returned to the American citizens on a per capita basis. Anderson said, “if we have a fee on fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, that’s going to cause the price of those things to go up”. The dividend would offset the cost. The suggestion is that the Social Security administration administer the program as the dividend would only go to those who have social security numbers. You can find all the previous Climate Series on kymradio.net.