With the Federal government shutdown, KYMN’s Jeff Johnson asked our District 20 Senator Rich Draheim about the division between the parties and how the State compares, he said, “so there’s a lot of time that we work across the aisle on almost everything. I don’t think it’s as split as people perceive it to be. We all have our own agendas but there is that middle ground that we do find, it’s just not flashy for the news to cover”. He said the Governor is also eager to get things done, however, the State relies on the Federal government for about half of our funding.
One large chunk of that money goes to housing programs and rental assistance. In fact, of the $1 billion, 88% or $880 million, comes from the Feds. He said if the shutdown goes another 3 weeks, we will really start to feel it.
Decade later, NFLD School board ok’s small increase to stipend
The Northfield School Board hasn’t raised their stipends since 2008. They voted last week during their Organizational meeting to increase it to $275 a month and $325 for the Chair. Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann commented that this puts them right in the middle of the Big Nine. Board positions aren’t just a couple of meetings a month but also ad hoc committees, work groups, school events and more.
Gecko pride prevails
The good news for Northfield taxpayers last week was that the interest rate for the School District bonds for a new elementary school came in at 3.22%, which will save about $3.9 million over the life of the bond. As for another important item… the name of the new elementary school. After listening intently to the community, the name will remain Greenvale Park. The campus will also be called Greenvale Park and at a later date they’ll determine the name for the Early Childhood building which is the existing elementary school. Hillmann said the Gecko pride and tradition will continue.
Roney leaves NDDC after multiple accomplishments
As the Northfield Chamber of Commerce begins the year with a new Executive Director, Lisa Peterson, the NDDC will be saying goodbye to their ED, Jenni Roney. She submitted a letter of resignation to the NDDC Board of Directors last week and her last day is Thursday. Roney packed in plenty of accomplishments during her short stint. She took over the position in 2016 after the organization had floundered for a time, but quickly turned things around starting in 2017 by redesigning a “Taste of Northfield” to “Downtown Taste Tour” changing the format of the popular event to allow attendees to visit the food establishments rather than one central location. That same year she orchestrated a project to upgrade the holiday tree lighting in Bridge Square. In early 2018, Roney was instrumental in Northfield being named a Designated Minnesota Main Street community by the state chapter of Main Street America, a national program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. There are less than a dozen communities in Minnesota that have this designation. And then there’s the launch last year of “First Friday Art Night”. Using a combination of indoor and outdoor events, the program has highlighted the artistic talents of the community. Roney also helped Northfield with a successful application of a two-year $30,000 Artists on Main Street Grant. This program will provide small stipends for artists to be used to produce public art in the downtown district. A search for the next NDDC Executive Director will begin immediately.