Sports Tourism has become a “thing” over the last decade but in Northfield, the focus has generally been centered on Arts and Culture. With a possible new Civic Center on the ballot, Daniel Hollerung, President of the Northfield Baseball Association and recently appointed to the Parks Board, came in to talk about what impact there is with tournament play. For example, Northfield hosted a 3 day baseball tournament this summer with 40 teams, ages 11 – 15, from 35 towns. Hollerung said they spoke with the hotels who said all their rooms were booked. The Baseball Association is already gearing up for 2019 State Qualifier tournament. The out-of-
town families spend a night, or two, eat in the restaurants and, all of them generally wander through the towns they visit. As for hockey, the current Arena can’t host tournaments. Mayor Pownell said she believes there’s tremendous opportunity and we need to take advantage of it. The Cannon River Civic Center, with 2 sheets of ice, could host multiple tournaments. One sheet would be dedicated year round to ice but 6 months out of the year, the second sheet would host varied events hindered only by imagination. On the ballot the tax amount reads $17.8 mil. Administrator Ben Martig explains that they must bond for that amount, however, the actual property tax implication to citizens is closer to $8.8 mil due to dollars coming in from sales tax, grants and private funds. For further information, go to the City’s website or Cannon River Civic Center.org.
Nfld EDA active with new and expanding businesses
The Northfield Chamber held a State of the Economy luncheon yesterday. EDA Coordinator Nate Carlson spoke on the activities this year which included microgrants to local businesses, coordinating a TIF for Aurora Pharmaceuticals for their $2 mil expansion project. Additionally, The Family Residence, is a million dollar Memory Care and Assisted Living Project going up behind Target. The EDA provided a $50,000 loan and Rice County matched it. He expounded on the Family Fare $3 mil renovation and, of course, the Benedictine Senior Housing project out the by hospital. Fairfield Inn & Suites will be opening in the next couple of weeks. Another project is Reunion, Farmers State Bank (which will break ground this Fall off Hwy 3) and a family dental project on Clinton Lane. The Q-Block is another area of development the City is discussing as a Transit Hub.
Update on NAFRS
The Northfield Fire Hall facility is about a week or two behind, but NAFRS joint powers board Vice Chair, Glen Castore, reports that they are $200,000 below estimated costs so far. The black top will be done soon and the back is enclosed. Three fireman have apartments on site, it will be about 3 weeks before they can move in to the newly renovated space. The new fire truck is on order after all the entities agreed to make a pre-payment which will give them about a $14,000 savings toward the $607,000 pumper.
“Flame” is placed along Hwy 3
“Flame” has been installed at the corner of Hwy 3 and 3rd street. The sculpture, created and donated by Nick Swearer, was placed yesterday morning. Streets and Parks Manager Tim Behrendt and his team coordinated the pickup and installation of the sculpture. Save the Depot board member Alice Thomas and Public Works Director Dave Bennett were on hand to observe and advise on the placement. There will be a dedication ceremony later this month, to be determined soon.