Last night the Northfield City Council eventually settled on a 7% preliminary levy in a 5 to 1 vote. Five options were presented from 4.9 to 9.86%. Administrator Martig opened with their needs and wants including additional personnel in departments from Streets and Parks to Police (a department that has not seen an increase in personnel since 2000). Out of the gate, Councilor Nakasian motioned for 9.86%, her reasoning was to open a dialog with the citizens about what the City needs, Zweifel agreed saying they could inform the public of what they get for their dollars. Colby, Ness and DeLong were against it, saying it’s
asking too much of the voters. With a 7% increase, a $200,000 home could expect a $7 a month increase, which includes the EDA and HRA levy increases they passed of 5%, an $11,000 and $12,000 increase respectively. What it doesn’t include is a possible utilities increase, the school referendum and the civic center. The final levy must be set in December. A public hearing will be held Dec. 4th. After a compensation study for city employees, Council approved raises, which created the majority of the $433,000 shortfall for 2019. A levy of 4.9% would cover it. The 7% would give the City another $600,000. This preliminary number can be lowered before the final levy is set. Last year’s increase was 8%, the previous 3 years averaged about 2%. Martig said there will be more public engagement coming up as Council discusses the merits of the increase. 2018_9_18 City Council Supplemental Agenda Background Memo for September 18, 2018 No. 1
Ericson fills in as City looks for Community Development Director
Michael Ericson is the new Interim Community Development Director for the City of Northfield. He comes from Brooklyn Center where he was the Interim for 9 months. Ericson told KYMN that he’s nearing retirement and isn’t looking for a full time position. He said, “I’ve got 29 years in city government, City Administrator in 5 cities for more than 20 years”. He expects to be here for about 2 to 3 months while the City searches for a full time Director, adding that he’s flexible enough to be here as long as necessary.
IRS scam wants money order
Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn has yet another warning of an IRS scam. In the last few days, a number of citizens have received letters that appear to be from the IRS telling them that an audit has been completed and that inconsistencies have been found in previously filed returns. The letter then directs them to purchase a blank money order for $5,000 and return it to the IRS within 10 days in the enclosed envelope addressed to the Finance Department in Houston, Texas. Dunn says, Do not send any money to them using this envelope. This is a scam. They’ve also had a number of phone scams from people claiming to be the IRS and asking for credit information or bank information. Ask them to quit calling and hang up.
NHS Cemetery Stories includes Maggie Lee
Cemetery Stories come early this year. The Northfield Historical Society is presenting their annual event this Saturday at the Northfield Cemetery across from the High School. Executive Director Cathy Osterman said this year’s theme is “Legends and Heroes”. Six locals with diverse backgrounds from the Pioneer Days to These Days from a WWI veteran to Maggie Lee! Overseen by Osterman, the Historical Society Junior Curators are given some parameters and then they do all kinds of biographical research, then they look to see if they can piece together a life story. Osterman said, “typically they can find out a few things about each person but maybe not enough to tell a full story on, so they end up researching more people than we ever actually use”. This year Cemetery Stories tours begin at 7pm and run every 20 minutes to 9pm. The cost is $6 for adults or $5 for members and seniors. Kids are $3. Register at the Museum Store or just show up!