A disagreement on a recommendation in the 2016 McGrath Report on NAFRS has prompted the hiring of a facilitator. The sticking point is the recommendation of a full time Fire Chief. It would be a major departure for the fire department. NAFRS Board Chair Glen Castore said discussion at the Board level was “unproductive”. He added that this past summer, in looking at how they approached the subject, some Board members recommended they hire a facilitator to have a neutral person conducting the discussion and summarizing the results. The facilitator will be Sharon Klumpp of
Springsted and Associates, the cost is about 5 to 6,000 dollars. Castore, who voted against hiring a facilitator as did Paul Liebenstein, said they have an extremely successful paid-on-call fire department with dedicated firefighters and Chief Gerry Franek who is also paid on call. Castore said, “so on the one side we don’t want to cause problems for the morale and operation of our department. The other issue is just cost”. Klumpp told them to budget $136,000 a year to hire a full time Chief. Castore said, “We pay Gerry Franek $18,000 which includes a monthly stipend of $1100, a car allowance, and a cellphone allowance. So it’s a huge increase in our budget, that’s almost a 20% increase in our budget”. He said they need to see some performance increase, “Performance means we put out fires faster not that we get forms filled out quicker”. Their ISO rating is currently 4, with 1 being the best and 10 the worst. NAFRS recently hired a part time Administrator. The Board intends to take this up after the facility project is well under way. There will also be another turnover in board members by then with 2 Northfield member terms ending at the end of this year. If you’re interested in being on the Board, you can submit your application online at ci.northfield.mn.us. Castore’s full interview is on kymnradio.net.
Nfld Council and Hosp board will hold special work session on Senior Housing
Northfield Hospital and Clinics is seeking an amendment to their lease agreement with St. Olaf College on land adjacent to the Hospital. CFO Jerry Een explained that, as needs are changing in an aging community, they are looking at changes to provide senior housing options including independent living, assisted living and memory care; aging in place. The developer would be Yanik companies and the services would be provided by Benedictine Health service. The lease would change, “about 12 acres on the west side of the hospital campus, that would be then carved out of the current lease with St. Olaf which would allow St. Olaf to move forward with the lease with the Yanik Corp. for the development of a 94 unit senior housing campus”. There could be further development as needs arise. While this is an allowed use, some councilors questioned the process and why there weren’t other bids for the project. There will be a special work session with Council and the Hospital Board tomorrow in the Hospital Conference Center at 6pm.
De-clutter with Lunch & Learn
The Northfield Enterprise Center’s Lunch & Learn tomorrow is all about clearing clutter. If you’re overwhelmed and distracted by the clutter in your space and not sure where to start clearing, Kate Buckmeier of Kate: Declutter and Redesign will be help you learn how to evaluate your space and the next steps you can take to let go of the things that aren’t supporting your goals. Be it at the office or at home. The free event is at the NEC at 510 Washington St. from noon to 1pm. Sandwich lunch will be provided. RSVP by to [email protected]