Despite a strong campaign, Northfield and Dundas said no to the multi-million dollar Cannon River Civic Center. In Northfield, the vote was 55.4% to 44.5%. The difference being just over 1,000 votes. The benefits of a new civic center weren’t enough to satisfy those who felt the price tag was just too much. Administrator Martig commented on the closeness of the vote, “still a ways off from approval but I think that’s says that there was a lot of support for it”. Commenting on the current arena, “this is on our strategic plan to figure out a solution to the Arena and we’ve still got two more years on that (the coolant
unit will be outlawed and a new system must be used) so it’s not going to go away and we’re going to continue to go back and say, okay that didn’t work, what do we do from here, we have to look at some solutions” In Dundas, where they were voting only on the ½ cent sales tax and the vehicle excise tax, the vote was much closer with 51% voting no to 49% yes. In a statement, CRCC Advisory Committee member, Leah Rich said… “While the Cannon River Civic Center project was defeated by a narrow margin and the results are disappointing, we certainly respect the process. Over the course of the last few months, there has been great consensus around the deficiencies of the current arena and the urgency with which they need to be addressed. The project has inspired the community to consider the benefits of a multi-purpose space and better understand the community’s need to increase funding for parks, trails and recreational spaces. The Cannon River Civic Center Advisory Committee, the City of Northfield and the City of Dundas will be meeting in the weeks to come to establish next steps and prioritize future funding needs.”
Local School Districts big winners
With 62% of the vote, it was a yes for the Northfield School District’s $41 million referendum. Total numbers were 8874 to 5382. It was a much tighter vote in the townships, in fact, it failed in Greenvale, Waterford, Forest and part of Webster Townships. After last year’s $109 million ask, Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann, said they really reached out to the community to find out what they COULD vote for. He commented this morning, “we adjusted, we listened to people, we got information out in some different ways”. The plan will move forward with a new Elementary School on the grounds of Greenvale Park, that building will then be turned into an Early Childhood Learning Center. There will also be some improvements to other buildings.
The Randolph School District also said yes to a $6.8 million referendum. The dollars will fund an expansion project at the district’s K-12 school, much of it for a 12-classroom addition and school safety. The estimated tax impact on a $150,000 property is about $68 annually over 20 years. The vote was 56% to 44%.
And voters in the Waterville-Elysian-Morristown School District approved $19.3 mil for security, HVAC, maintenance and academic upgrades. That vote was almost 63% to 37%.
Grabau ousts Colby – other incumbents remain
Northfield Councilor-at-large incumbent Greg Colby was ousted handily by Clarice Grabau. In Northfield’s Ward 4, Jessica Peterson White, led Jon Denison by 900 votes. And in Ward 1, Suzie Nakasian ran unopposed. The City will be canvassing the votes next week and swearing in takes place in January. Martig commented, “all of our elected officials make significant sacrifices in our community. It takes some bravery to go out there and be out in the public and take policy positions and work for the community and I know all of them put in a lot of hours and take their roles very seriously”
Dundas and Randolph incumbents re-elected
In Dundas, the incumbents took the races. Mayor Glenn Switzer ran unopposed and Councilors Grant Modory and Larry Fowler just beat out first time candidate, Kelly Ludvigson.
In Randolph’s Mayoral race, Robert Appelgren was re-elected with 53.5% to Marie Jacob’s 45.5%.
DFL Lippert takes District 20b seat but District 24b remains Republican
Republican Josh Gare did well in the surrounding townships for House District 20B seat, but it wasn’t enough. It was Northfield’s race to win, with Northfielder and DFL candidate, Todd Lippert, taking over the seat being vacated by David Bly, with 68% of the vote. In District 24B, Incumbent Republican Brian Daniels won the race over Yvette Marthaler with 62%.
All in all, voters turned out in droves considering it was a mid-term election. We spoke with local Northfield precinct judges who were reporting numbers they typically only see in Presidential elections, and early voting was well above average. We’ll have more on that from City Clerk Deb Little.
For all the results and the breakdown of precincts, go the the MN Secretary of State website and search Election Results.