With the City of Northfield’s historic vote to become the first City in Minnesota to issue a municipal identification card, there are still some lingering questions, including a change to the ordinance that would allow expired photo identification cards to be accepted as proof of identity when applying for the city ID. Councilor Colby asked, “how long can they be expired? Is there a 5 year limit? a 10 year limit? 30 year limit?” He said he understands the expired documentation can instill authenticity, “but at some
point does it expire?”. In information from city staff, council and advocates are saying that an allowed use *may* be opening bank accounts. That has not been assured. KYMN spoke with multiple banks who were apprehensive to consider accepting the City ID’s as banks are federally regulated, meaning a City ID is not recognized as proof of identity. The ID’s would be usable for any City service such as the municipal pool and maybe for the library. It cannot be used for voting, alcohol or tobacco purchase, driver’s license or employment verification. There’s a possibility that some businesses would offer discounts to anyone with the ID. This comes back to Council next Tuesday for a 2nd and final reading. The expectation is that the rollout will be at the end of March. Mayor Pownell commented, “it is the Council responding to this grassroots movement within our community of something that our community members really value and wanted to see get done”. There was a petition of about 600 signatures, advocates include faith groups and social service organizations.
First snow event brings crashes
We had our first “snow event” this week. That usually means emergency responders are busy. Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn commented that they had no deaths or serious injuries but plenty of folks in the ditch including jacknifed semis. He estimated about a dozen crashes, “a lot of damage, a lot of totaled cars, but a majority of the crashes were just too fast for the conditions. I know a lot of people were upset about the roads didn’t get treated properly but with it starting as rain and it transitioned to freezing rain and then the snow and then the wind, it made it difficult for MnDot and other Public Works”. He said the good thing is people had their seatbelts on. Rice County is participating in DUI enforcement. Dunn said a lot of folks are doing the right thing and planning a ride home or an overnight stay. He’d like to keep it that way!
It’s a Whoville Winter Walk
It’s Winter Walk in Northfield! The event is from 5p to 9p tonight with the tree lighting ceremony kicking it off at 5 o’clock. A new idea for this year came from Wendy Russell who wants to create a community Christmas sing. She said last year she heard someone humming the melody to “Welcome Christmas” from The Grinch Stole Christmas, “and it struck me, we could totally do thist!”. She said the theme is really one of coming together when things seem to be falling apart. She said, “that’s the meaning of that story, is the hope and love and joy that we share”. The 6th grade choir will lead the singing at the lighting ceremony. The tree has a distinctive Whoville design! There will be some standup cutouts of Whoville characters to take pictures with. Santa Claus will be at First National Bank, there will be plenty of specials at the stores and food specials at restaurants. The horse and wagon rides will also be available and don’t forget the “Magic of Trains” at the Northfield Library beginning at 3:30pm.