There are differing opinions regarding the City of Northfield’s incentives to Big Ten LLC, the developer of the Fairfield inn & Suites at The Crossing site. Former Charter Chair, David Ludescher, has been outspoken in his belief that the City and the Council acted inappropriately and have “gifted” Big Ten with nearly $2 million in future money, interest and land. Mpls Attorney Erick Kaardal, representing a Northfield resident, sent a letter to the City stating, in part, that what they’re calling a TIF District is “nothing more than a subsidy” and they violated City Charter. Northfield City Attorney Chris Hood, has responded calling the allegations “completely false
and incorrect and the City categorically denies each and every one of them”. The Charter Commission weighed in in July stating, in part, that they felt the Charter had been violated. I have documents from all three opinions on kymnradio.net. After the economy started to crash in 2006, The Crossing townhomes development came to a halt and the land sat vacant. Over a year and a half, Big Ten developers worked with the City to bring the hotel to that location. Carleton College is a partner in the 80 room hotel expected to bring about 15 FT jobs and economic growth. Document links below:
On a side note: Two years ago, a Federal Judge slapped Kaardal and his firm with $282,000 in sanctions for what he determined a “frivolous lawsuit”.
Nfld District refreshes their website
The Northfield School district launched their new website August 4th. It has a fresh new look and is mobile friendly. Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann said their site had become bloated with 400 plus pages. It’s now down to 125 pages that focus more information on one page rather than being sent to a number of them. They also made the site more accessible to those with visual impairments. The site colors were chosen specifically for their contract and there’s also a screen reader. And they’ve added a full integration to translate the site into Spanish. Also on the website is a button at the top of the front page to connect you to information on the bond referendum coming up in November.
Herzog Melby exits after setting NAG in “historic” position
Alyssa Herzog Melby has been the driving force that has put the Northfield Arts Guild in the strongest place it’s been in it’s history. And now she’s leaving. After a little over two and a half years, Executive Director Herzog Melby, will be stepping down. She’s accepted the position of Assistant Director for Academic Civic Engagement at St. Olaf College. In a letter to the community, posted on the NAG website, Herzog Melby wrote that she “felt so proud and privileged to have heard the community’s stories and to have been a part of creating new creative memories for our community.” She’s leaving the organization to spend more time with her family and “to engage more deeply in direct program management.” Board President, Virginia Lorang said, “Alyssa has been a vital force in moving the guild to a positive place both creatively and financially,”. I’ll have the full press release on kymnradio.net later today. While Herzog Melby’s last day is September 27th, she’ll continue on as a contractor through the hiring and training process of a new Executive Director. A job posting has already been created and is online. The Guild’s Board of Directors hopes to fill the position this fall and at this time will not be designating an interim Executive Director. The Board is looking to have interested community members involved in the search process. Learn more at northfieldartsguild.org. Press Release: Alyssa departure-ED search.docx