The Northfield Council held a marathon meeting last night, lasting just shy of 5 hours. There were some major topics including….. (listen to audio below) ……… In a unanimous vote, Nfld council approved the first reading to create a Municipal ID. The first in the State of Minnesota. St. Dominic’s Father Denny (whose church has a large Latino congregation) spoke prior to the vote saying this will make them feel a part of the community. There were a few changes made to the resolution just prior to the meeting last night. They
removed language that a document to prove their identity must be in English and the document must not be expired. Allowing for foreign photo id’s and that they could be expired. That brought the question of the length of expiration. There is no minimum age requirement and a minor could apply for the ID. A 2nd reading will take place December 11th. Details of implementation, costs and more, are yet to be determined but there’s an expectation the ID’s would be available in March. The following is additional information for items 18, 19 and 20 on Council agenda. 2017_12_05 City Council Supplemental Agenda Background Memo for December 5, 2017 No. 2 –
CC 12-5-17 agenda
Vote to increase levy by 8% squeaks by
While there were a number of residents and commercial business owners that spoke out, many due to huge increases in their market valuation, Northfield Council, last night, passed an 8% levy in a 4/3 vote. Two of those no votes were because they wanted 8.5%. The difference in dollars is $40,000. The City has no power over the County’s valuation but DeLong pointed out that they could just spend less. Mayor Pownell and Zweifel wanted to ensure the hiring of a new full time Communications person for $40k. Pownell commented that,”one of the things I’ve learned in serving 8 plus years, is that you’ll have to play catch up if you want to do a level levy increase, a zero percent. If you want to… the more years that you do zero percent, 1%, 2%, at some point your’e going to have to play catch up and that’s where you get those peeks in the levy rather than just a more steady, easy to handle increase”. Some would argue that any raise in rate was still unnecessary. Staff compensation increases are being called the reason for the increase, those wages went into effect earlier this year. For more information, go to the city’s website. Link to levy info. Video is also up now for the entire meeting.
2018 street improvement project ok’d
With amendment after amendment and designing from the dais, it was a long and winding road to get to a consensus among Northfield councilors on the 2018 street project. Which includes Division st. between 6th and 8th, 7th from Water to Washington and Washington from 2nd to Woodley. Again, multiple business owners pleaded to save parking. One person continued his quest for the original complete streets design which took away 31 parking spaces on the south end of downtown. An agreement had been tentatively hammered out between Staff and Councilors Ness and Zweifel prior to the meeting that would add back in 18 parking spaces and allow for 30 ft width intersection for truck traffic at 7th and Washington but leave in the raised intersection at Division and 7th. However, Councilor Peterson White made the motion to keep the project intersections all at 26 ft width with mountable curbs. Nearly an hour and a half later, they passed a resolution on a 6 to 1 vote, which was a must for the street project to be approved. Councilor DeLong voted no on the $4.2 million project. In the end, they got back 13 parking spaces but still lost 18. Mayor Pownell commented this morning that they were all working hard to come up with a solution. She said that’s “what you found” council doing last night, reaching a “common ground”. Pownell and Martig’s full interview is online at kymnradio.net. Link to street project information.
Snowflake Ornament found on 3rd clue
The Winter Walk Snowflake ornament was found this morning by Sheri Israel. She said the first clue gave it away with mention of the Key, but she didn’t know if it was the old one or the new one. On the 3rd clue, Cluemaster Tim Freeland, said “Remember the tree”. That meant it had to be at the old location where the cut down the old cottonwood tree when they built Froggy’s Padio. The ornament was found in a shrub a few feet off the Riverwalk directly behind Basils Pizza and Froggy Bottoms Padio. It was being a small shrub a few feet off the walking path. She won $500 in Chamber bucks. She thanked all of those businesses that donated for the prize of Chamber bucks, that it’s important in a small town and said she really appreciates it. Most folks know Israel as a waitress at Froggy Bottoms, owner of Buck Thrifty and a new online auction house called BidOnIt.