The Northfield School District’s tax levy combined with the voter approved increase comes to an increase of 23.62% overall. Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann said the “primary driver of that is the additional funds that the voters generously approved of in November”. Additionally, at the State level, about 60% of the levy calculations are based upon student enrollment. Northfield’s enrollment is up 3.4%. The study anticipated about 3700 students, however, enrollment is just above 4,000. Secondary students are weighted higher and those are where many of the increased enrollment is.
This is also the final year of a phase in Legislators approved the long-term maintenance facilities program. That’s another $88 per student. Hillmann said the average increase over the last 6 years has been 3.5%. He says the State doesn’t adequately fund the schools, “and so we have to step in and ask the voters of Northfield to make sure that continue the great programming that we have uninterrupted for as long as we possibly can”. The increase will take effect in 2018. Hillmann’s full interview is on kymnradio.net.
Dundas certifies levy
Dundas Council certified a major increase in their 2018 tax levy, but it’s offset by the decertification of TIF District 2, which began in 1989. City Administrator John McCarthy explains the effect, “we’ve had 2 districts, basically, decertify in the two years and we’ve been able to raise the levy and also decrease the tax rates. Basically the tax rate, in the last 2 years, has come down about 26%”. They were proactive in putting in long term infrastructure. They shouldn’t need any upgrades for many years. That also means they have shovel-ready sites for development. The budget for 2018 increased by about $10,000 on their $950,000 budget.
2nd reading of Nfld City ID tonight
Northfield City Council will hold the 2nd reading of an ordinance which would enable the City to issue identification cards. Approval is all but a foregone conclusion. There’s strong support in the Latino community and last week, the Chambers was overflowing with advocates. It’s first on the regular agenda. Next up is approval of an amendment to the land lease agreement between Northfield Hospital and Clinics and St. Olaf to allow for the development of a Senior Housing project on land west of the Hospital. There will also be discussion time. A recent study shows that 8 of Northfield’s 56 Stormwater ponds have reached or are approaching their sediment capacity. The cost of cleanup is steep but will likely last over 10 years. Meetings begin at 6pm and are streamed live on the City’s website. Mayor Pownell and Administrator Martig will be in studio tomorrow morning at 7:20 with a full recap.
Chief prefers no DWI arrests
Tis the season of additional DWI enforcement. Local law enforcement, including Northfield Police, are participating. Chief Nelson said everyone knows you can’t drink and drive, you can’t drug and drive and he’ll keep repeating it. Adding, “not just because it’s illegal and expensive, which it is, it’s going to cost you a lot of money; but we’ve had some really bad examples just locally here in the last 2 weeks. Some really serious accidents, lots of property damage, injuries where people were drinking and driving”. There were children in the vehicle too. Nelson said they’re happy to arrest those people but they’d prefer not to see any of those incidents at all. Grab a cab, have a sober driver, “make good decisions. Take care of your friends, if they’re heading for the vehicle and you know they have no business behind the wheel stop ’em, do something about it. Help ’em out…”