The Northfield EDA sent surveys out to local businesses before their strategic planning session last week. Community Development Director Chris Heineman said they had about 126 respond. They asked a series of 10 questions, one of which was what impacts your business most. The number one answer was property taxes. Market conditions, property values, available workers and then a mixed bag that included downtown parking were also listed. Property taxes were cited nearly twice as much. Heineman stressed that
population trends are very important to pay attention too. He said, since about 1950, Northfield has seen decade by decade a 17% growth. However, since 2010, this has been the first decade that has NOT kept up. There’s only been 1.5% growth and that’s primarily through college student growth. He said part of that is due to Northfield’s celebrated location to retire to. That means a significant number of 2 person households. The State demographer projected a population decrease for all of Rice County by 2040. Heineman says that means their focus should be on workforce development, workforce housing, “but most importantly our tax base”. Northfield’s commercial and industrial business is a fairly low percentage of our tax base. Looking at expansion opportunities is extremely important. Moving forward, Heineman said, staff will come up with an action plan. We’ll have more on this in the coming months. EDA packet info from 8-24-17 meeting
Apt. fire could’ve been “large and destructive”
Just before midnight Tuesday, the Faribault Fire Department, Faribault Police, and North Memorial Ambulance responded to 313 Central Ave on a reported fire in the building. When police arrived, they found the occupant of an upstairs apartment on the street stating that he had lit a fire in his apartment. Officers were met with moderate smoke conditions and waited for firefighters to search the building. The fire was located and extinguished. Fire Chief Dustin Dienst said the fire was contained within the unit but about a ⅓ of the contents were lost. The lathe and plaster held the fire at bay. No one was injured. Law Enforcement detained the occupant and took him to District One Hospital for evaluation. Dienst commented, “This fire had potential to be a large and destructive one. “Police Chief Andy Bohlen said, “Crews acted quickly which kept this fire from doing extensive damage.” The State Fire Marshall was on scene yesterday and an investigation continues, charges could be filed.
Students get schooled in firefighting
As students settle into their dorms, Carleton and St. Olaf RA’s got schooled in some fire fighting. Environmental Health & Safety Coordinator for both Colleges, Elisabeth Haase, and Northfield firefighters took about 175 students through safety training that included some lecture time and hands on work. Firefighters Josh Hall, Aramis Wells and Travis Smith set up a smoke-filled hallway, a kitchen fire and gave extinguisher training. With the number of students to take through, they were on sight for several hours, to ensure they all participated in the hands-on and answering questions. NAFRS does this each year. Check out their Facebook page for more pictures.
Road work on hwy 60
And beginning Tuesday, motorists on Hwy 60 will encounter lane closures from the Straight River near Faribault to Huseth Ave in Kenyon as crews resurface the roadway. For more construction information go to 511mn.org.