A fire shut down southbound I35 at Hwy 19 for a time yesterday afternoon. NAFRS Firefighter Sean Simonson explained they found a fully engulfed boom truck (the kind used to cut down trees). It took 3,000 gallons to put it out. More than a usual car fire. Simonson said they were there for about an hour. State Patrol and Mn Dot remained on the scene until the truck was towed. Traffic was jammed tight back to Elko/New Market. There were no injuries.
I have a correction regarding the Washington and 5th St. parking lot. It will remain closed until September 17th. Simonson, who also works for the City of Northfield, sent a complete list of the remaining street projects and their timeline. Press Release #3 Washington Street (1)
After over 2 decades Nfld Gymnastics Club ends relationship with NHS gymnastics team
The Northfield High School Gymnastics team is looking for a new home after negotiations with the Northfield Gymnastic Club came to an end after a 24 year long relationship. Talks on the yearly renewal started in May. The District has paid $6500 a season to the non-profit. Northfield Schools Superintendent Matt Hillmann said, “we certainly knew that we would have to pay a little bit more because we’ve had a real nice agreement with them for some time. Very reasonable cost. The Club had proposed a 400% increase to the annual lease and that’s just not something we were in a position to do this year”. The District came back with a phased in approach for payments. He added, the other key sticking points were the times offered for practices. Traditionally they were right after school but NGC offered evenings and Saturdays. He said there was also some desire by the club to restrict some areas of the club from their use. That would not allow the District to host a meet. In an email, NGC President Tracy Hinz responded, in part,stating that the available practice times offered would allow them the most freedom to set up equipment and move it around to best suit their practices. It would also minimize the loss of income to NGC. As for restrictions to space, she wrote that those areas are not for general use by any gymnastics students. In terms of cost, she said, the District leases the ice arena, which is owned by the City and publicly subsidized, for an average of $170 per hour. They also lease the Dundas Dome, which is privately owned at $450 per hour. The School District was paying $30 per hour to use the Northfield Gymnastics Club. It is notable that just 18 students use the Gymnastics Club while a far larger number of students use the other facilities. Also, other area gymnastics clubs charge about $7,000 for the season. Hinz said that, during lease discussions, the District said they were considering establishing their own gym which include a plan to offer gymnastics classes through Community Education. NGC provides training to approximately 500 youth each session. They hold 4 sessions per year. At this point, District Finance Director Val Mertesdorf, is negotiating practice time with other facilities including Faribault. Hillmann said they’ll be looking for a long term solution down the road. ,
Dundas says No to solar as Principal use
The Dundas Council approved a new ordinance regarding Solar gardens. They chose to not allow so-called “arrays” as a principal use within the City’s utility service area . However, Administrator John McCarthy added that they encourage and permit solar energy use as an “accessory”, meaning solar panels or ground-mounted solar is okay for home or to power their own business but not as a free-standing entity simply to produce the energy and sell it, is a no-go in the “so-called urbanized” areas that are serviced by utilities. McCarthy added that it does not preclude an array that would service a Planned Unit Development such as a condominium complex.