By Teri Knight, News Director
On April 29, it had wide appeal, but by May 7, not so much. For a decade, Ivanhoe Drive in Northfield has been identified as a Safe Routes to School route to Greenvale Park Elementary. Neighbor Don McGee championed the cause of getting a sidewalk installed so kids wouldn’t have to walk in the street. This item had also been on City Councilor Erica Zweifel’s radar. After years of what McGee called “kicking it down the road,” the Northfield Council was poised this week to okay a sidewalk on the east side of Ivanhoe that would connect to a trail. Then five neighbors showed up asking the city to reconsider. Resident Carole Eyler led the charge of commentary from the neighbors with
three points, one of which was the city’s process. She said, “The six homeowners who would be affected by this sidewalk proposal first learned about it less than one week ago on May 1st and 2nd, one family hasn’t even seen the letter yet, they’re on vacation.” One week, she said, was “wholly inadequate.” She also suggested locating the sidewalk on the west side of Ivanhoe which would affect just two properties rather than six. Four other neighbors said it was safe area and they don’t need the sidewalk without more data. The idea of adding the sidewalk now was to piggyback onto the city’s 2019 street reclamation project which has since been moved to the spring of 2020. Northfield Public Works Director Dave Bennett commented that the city would look at prioritizing the sidewalk gaps in different ways. He said they’ll have a scoring priority that they’ll establish to “provide clarity.” The gaps have also been identified on the recently adopted bicycle/pedestrian map. After an hour of discussion, including the fact that another school will be built at the Greenvale Elementary site, the council chose to consider prioritization of sidewalk gaps in the budget talks for 2020 in a work session.
Jordan man charged after traffic stop
A Jordan man has been charged with three felony counts of 5th degree drug possession. According to the criminal complaint, Lonsdale police pulled over 24-year-old Andrew Michael Schmieg for a headlight out. The officer smelled marijuana coming from inside the vehicle; as he walked away to run Schmieg’s drivers license, he saw a bong on the back seat. A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed burnt marijuana residue and other drug paraphernalia as well as small amounts of marijuana wax, methamphetamine and black tar heroin. Schmieg has five convictions for Driving after Revocation in 2018 alone, with nine more dating back to 2013. He also has several previous drug possession convictions. Bail was set at $2,000 with conditions. His initial court appearance is May 15, 2019.
Draheim bill seeks department budget clarity
Minnesota District 20 Senator Rich Draheim says between all the departments, the State of Minnesota spends between $90 and $100 billion every 2 years, depending on what they get from the federal government. He’s been pushing the state to bring each of their budgets to zero and build from there to find out exactly where the dollars are going. Draheim explains, “We spread them out over that 10-year cycle and we examine a handful every cycle and bring it down to zero, justify what we’re spending, put metrics into place to track if we’re doing what we intended to do.” This is called a “performance-based budget.” Draheim believes now is the perfect time to implement this as baby boomers retire and there are less people in the workplace. This is one of many bills wrapped within a state government bill. Draheim said this isn’t a partisan issue and believes most of the public is tapped out and they need to find new resources, adding we need to manage our resources better.