On a 4 to 2 vote, the Northfield City Council approved design concepts for the 2018 street projects in downtown. After over an hour of discussion and hearing from 5 residents and business owners, they chose to accept a combination concept that supports the “Complete Streets” designs. That includes a raised intersection at Division st. and 7th, curb extensions, permeable pavers and valley gutters as well as landscaping for traffic calming. Several businesses are affected. Mayor Pownell, “one of the things that we’re really trying to do here is change that area of our community and make it much
more… instead of just serving automobile traffic and our semi-trucks, to really bring in the ability of our pedestrians and our bicyclists to get around safely within our community”. NAPA Auto Parts is at the center of it. Owner Dan Christopherson commented on the loss of 27 parking spaces. He added that the delivery option of truck traffic as one way in and one way out will be problematic, “I think I heard it at a work session that business owners should be able to adapt. And imagine a whole semi-truck full of batteries that we have to adapt and unload on the street. That’s not the kind of adapting that we can do, so we need to be safe”. Construction access is also a priority for NAPA. Resident Don McGee brought up the proximity to Village on the Cannon, a senior housing area, and the need to make the area safer with Wells Fargo, Econofoods and the new Express clinic going in. Eco Gardens Howie Osterue told Council, “the safest thing for elderly people or people with kids, it’s putting stop signs in”. Jeni Holt of Eco Gardens, was concerned about stormwater runoff with the current design. Two other residents were “all in” for the Complete Streets design. Staff will move forward with construction feasibility reports, how much it will all cost, and then on to a competitive bidding process in early 2018. An Improvement Hearing is scheduled for November 14th. There will be opportunity for public input. 6 – Presentation Division-Seventh-Washington 2017-09-19 1- Division Street and Seventh Street Preferred Concept 2 – Washington Street Preferred Concept
NH&C re-branding complete
Northfield Hospital and Clinics has been rolling out a new logo and branding for several months. Underdahl commented that it’s “mercifully” complete. There’s lots of time and attention that goes into the process including websites, advertising, education information and, of course, the buildings. President and CEO, Steve Underdahl, said the rebranding of all these entities that had disparate names, the public would report back that they had no idea they were connected to NH&C. Signage on buildings is important to the City, Underdahl said they’ve gotten really good feedback on the aesthetics of signs and he’s very pleased. He said it’s been a long term project that has garnered positive feedback. They’ll do some formal market testing next year to see what impact it’s had.
15th Nfld International Day of Peace includes a young leader
The 15th Northfield Community Celebration of the International Day of Peace takes place this evening. 6th grader, Sunny Leonard, will be leading the all-student rally on Bridge Square at 5:30. At 6 o’clock they’ll march to the Weitz Center, and join other residents of the community to kick off the festivities. A reception begins at 6:30 with a welcome and then a global celebration featuring Taiko drumming, aztec dancers, nordic musicians, poetry and an open mic. Sunny was on the Wayne Eddy Affair last week, you can hear that interview HERE.