By Teri Knight, News Director
Waterford Township will continue to pursue their appeal in the case against the City of Northfield. Briefly, Northfield stopped paying Waterford in 2010 for a 1980 annexation agreement that they said had been fulfilled. Waterford contends that the agreement was in perpetuity. There have been attempts over the years to come to some sort of agreement but neither side could make it work. Finally, Waterford chose to sue the City of Northfield and, in December 2018, the Dakota County District Court issued an order dismissing Waterford Township’s complaint. However Waterford supervisors chose to appeal the decision. Northfield came back and offered them $47,000 to end any dispute. Waterford turned it down and
countered with an offer of no money but the supervisors would have control over annexation of land into perpetuity. In March, the Northfield Council held a closed session discussing the matter; they didn’t take action but the consensus was not to accept the offer. In an email Waterford Township Attorney Mike Couri stated: The Town Board met last week and concluded that it needed more information on a few points of the City’s settlement offer in order for the Board to make a determination as to whether it wanted to pursue the offer. I will be in touch with the City’s attorney to get additional details regarding the City’s latest proposal to take back to the Town Board. In the meantime the case is proceeding at the Appellate Court with oral arguments scheduled for 10:40 on June 5th. That would result in a decision by the Court by early September, leaving the parties several more months to reach a settlement if terms acceptable to both sides can be reached.
Baker says there’s “great potential” for redevelopment in downtown Northfield
Community Development Director Mitzi Baker is excited about the City of Northfield’s infill and redevelopment possibilities. She said, “I’m seeing some great potential for perhaps some multi-story mixed use development in and near the downtown. We’ve actually had a couple developers come in with some interest in that type of development.” Baker said it would be reasonable to build four to five stories up. One thing she said we really need is affordable housing and that could be one of the uses. With no additional roads and infrastructure to build, the city gets more bang for the tax buck. However, if they plan on adding more people to the downtown area, they’re going to have to address Northfield’s lack of parking spaces.
In a matter of hours over 40 stopped for distracted driving
This week, law enforcement around the state wrapped up their Distracted Driving enforcement campaign. Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn helped out this year. He said, “I went and got a county highway truck and we worked two hours in Faribault and two hours in Northfield and we had over 40 stops for distracted driving.” Law enforcement would spot the drivers and then a patrol officer would pull them over. Dunn shared one example where a young woman was on her phone, driving erratically while she tried to look up an address. When pulled over, she had no clue why and asked him to help her find an address, explaining that she’d been looking down trying to find it. He said she had no clue that what she was doing was illegal. On August 1, 2019, the law changes to prohibit talking on a phone while driving.
Siems selected to run NDDC
Greg Siems is the new Director of the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC). He was most recently the assistant director of the Institute for Freedom & Community at St. Olaf College. Prior to that he was the Director of Vision 2020 in Austin, Minnesota. Here in Northfield for just a year, he quickly joined the local Rotary and was put on the Planning Commission. He commented that, while he enjoyed working at St. Olaf, he missed the connection to the community he had in Austin. Siems was on the NDDC Board for a couple of months before applying for the director position vacated by Jenni Roney. Wednesday was his first full day as Director of the NDDC. His full interview is on kymnradio show under Morning Show tab.
Volunteers for tornado cleanup needed
Twenty-one families still need help cleaning up after last September’s tornadoes! If you have any time this weekend, consider volunteering through Northfield Shares. Organizer Rachel Meisler said they could use another 50 volunteers! Information is on our Community News Page on kymnradio.net.