The Northfield Council voted 6 to 1 on accepting the feasibility study and calling for an improvement hearing on the 2018 street projects. They also Ordered Preparation of Plans and Specs for one of 3 options that included a raised intersection at 7th and Division and less parking. The $4.2 million project will create headaches for the downtown but right now, it has business and building owners speaking out. Dan Christopherson of NAPA and Chris Kennelly, who co-owns the building on the southwest corner of 7th, have repeatedly expressed concerns over the loss of parking. Christopherson added,“the concept has been approved and nothing has changed there but I do believe that,
and I’ve been told that at council meetings here too that, as we go forward with the plans, as things move along, some things may change to facilitate some things like semi truck traffic and so on. We talked about mountable curbs and all those things so I haven’t seen any of that change anywhere so I just want to make sure I’m still putting my 2 cents in”. With the project expected to take several months, he asked that they please don’t shut businesses down while working. Kennelly said that it’s exciting to see the downtown grow but added, “I guess as you look at the overall parking issue on that side of town, we’ve got a potential liquor store going in, we’ve got a clinic going in to Sterling Drug and we’ve got Imminent Brewing come in and some other things going on that are going to continue to drive parking in that area so would really like to revisit that part of the plan. And it’s tough for us on the assessment side to accept an assessment when we’re taking away that value of the parking”. His tenants have voiced concern as well. Chamber President Todd Bornhauser echoed their pleas. Public Works Director Dave Bennett said parking’s not a problem from his observation. Mayor Pownell said parking issues have been more for the north end than the south. During an earlier discussion on ways to address the downtown parking, Councilor Zweifel said, “so I would just request that as that discussion moves forward that you widen beyond the lens of, instead of creating more parking spaces, widen that out. Look at what other cities are doing. Other cities are reducing the amount of parking that the municipality offers looking ahead to driverless cars that require less parking spaces so I would just be cautious about paving over paradise“. Bennett noted that as they reconstruct the area, adding a raised intersection doesn’t add significantly to the cost. It’s a traffic calming device. The public hearing will be held November 14th. If you have input now or then, tell City Hall, let your councilperson and the Mayor know. All their contact information is on the City’s website. You can also view their meetings and read related documents. Preferred option 7th and Divison
Bill North a Standout guy
There’s no doubt, Bill North is a standup/standout guy and now he’s been awarded. The MN Association of Library Friends awarded North the 2017 “Stand Up for Standout Friends” this week at the Northfield Council meeting. North has been involved with the library for over 17 years, he’s currently the Treasurer of the Friends and Foundation of the Northfield Library. Over the years he’s helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars including for the Capital Campaign and, most recently, the new and improved “Booker”. He said that what he does is, in part, just an expression of what the Board does as a whole and as a community organization”.
Depot becomes Sheriff’s office
According to the Save the Northfield Depot’s facebook page, The depot was temporarily transported back in time and to another state (Alabama) last Saturday night and into early Sunday morning when a film crew for the movie “Tuscaloosa” dressed and filmed the exterior of the depot as the sheriff’s office. The company donated $1,000 for the use of the depot. Take a peek at all the photos on their facebook page. I have a link from kymnradio.net.