Voices were heard last night as a number of the public, mostly business owners, attended the Improvement Hearing on Northfield’s plans for reconstruction of Division Street between 6th and 7th and Water Street from 7th to Washington. Over 2 dozen people were in Council Chambers. Nine spoke, 2 in favor of the current design which eliminates 27 parking spaces while calling for curb extensions aka bumpouts, landscaping and a raised intersection. The majority of speakers want to keep as much parking as possible, some were concerned that the bumpouts, which narrow the road at intersections, were hazardous to bicyclists, several
also called for a 4-way stop at Division and 6th streets. Bluewater Properties Chris Kennelly added, “how does the reduction in parking fit in with our long term plan for downtown Northfield? We want to grow the density of downtown Northfield and we don’t still have a comprehensive downtown parking plan and so removing stalls at this point seems premature until we get that figured out, and is kind of in conflict with us creating more density”. Mayor Pownell commented this morning, “and what I heard from our council was, okay, let’s look at this, let’s see where we can creatively come up with these little spots, one or two, here or there. I heard people say, you know, if we can add back in 10 that would be absolutely fantastic, 15 would be even better”. She added, “I think the Council took it to heart. what I clearly heard from people is, okay, let’s find some solutions to the parking”. The City Engineer will take a look at it. It was a wider conversation with Council and the public. The design could come to a vote as early as next Tuesday, however, it needs 6 votes to pass. It was clear the Ness and DeLong would vote no on the current design. Moving it forward, Pownell said it is essential they work together on some give and take. They want to go out for bids as soon as possible to keep costs down. There will also be a mill and overlay of Washington Street between 2nd and Woodley and resurfacing of city parking lots. Total estimated cost? $4.2 million. Click HERE to connect to meeting, view documents and watch the video.
State of the City of Dundas – good!
The State of the City of Dundas is good. At a Chamber event at Ruth’s on Stafford, Mayor Glenn Switzer, who goes into his 12th year serving the City in that capacity, gave a brief history of the City, discussed the area collaboration, sayings it’s not just the two Cities but the State as they communicate with MnDot, the DNR, the County and the surrounding townships. He said it’s been a slow improvement of all communications between everyone. The obvious building boon along Hwy 3 isn’t the whole story. Switzer said they have almost 70 businesses in town, so it’s adding 3… it’s adding 4, it’s adding these small things that are all important to Dundas. He talked of the diversity of the businesses and the population growth of the City. They’ve been planning infrastructure for a long time, now offering shovel ready opportunities. He touched on the E. Cannon River Trail stating that it’s “stunning”. The Cannon River is one of six rivers in the State that’s considered “wild and scenic”. He believes it will be a huge economic driver for the entire area. City Administrator John McCarthy touched on infrastructure projects and new housing and added that the Cannon Valley Movie Theater plans a soft opening in early December.
Kettle Campaign kicks off Friday
The Rice County Salvation Army is gearing up for their largest fundraiser of the year. Tis the season to ring the bells. Starting Friday, stores in Northfield, Faribault and Lonsdale will have 2 hour slots open for singles, families, groups and/or organizations that want to support all the things they do. 88% of every dollar raised in the kettle campaign stays in Rice County. Salvation Army Co-chair Ed Little and Sheriff Dunn will be in studio next Tuesday with more information. Call 507-334-0639 or email [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]