By Teri Knight, News Director
As Bridgewater Township moves closer to petitioning for incorporation, the Northfield City Council is preparing actions they may consider. The council heard from Assistant City Attorney Robert Scott on the process. Any city boundary issues are dealt with by the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) serve the same function as any judge in a court system. They have defined policy and determined that municipal governments (cities) are best for urban-suburban areas or those areas experiencing urban/suburban growth pressures — and township
governments are best suited to govern rural areas. The first step in becoming a city is to submit a petition to an ALJ. There are two ways to do this: at least 100 property owners must agree to incorporation OR the Board of Supervisors can do it by resolution. There are thirteen separate factors. The ALJ must receive evidence on each of those factors. They are broad and geared to determine whether the area can support urban/suburban services. Northfield Administrator Ben Martig was in studio this morning. He said the ALJ could choose to deny the incorporation; break up the proposed areas into pieces and divvy them up among Northfield, Dundas and Bridgewater; or the entire area could go all to another community. There are a number of options. As for Northfield, the council will begin considering the city’s position. Their attorney has suggested they go into closed session to consider their options. Scott added that these are expensive to litigate due to the amount of data and expert testimony necessary. In fact, it could go to six figures. The whole process could take a year and a half. Martig’s full interview is on kymnradio.net.
Local law enforcement remember those who fell in the line of duty
In 1962 President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day to recognize those in law enforcement who gave their lives in the line of duty. This morning Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn hosted a service for area enforcement agencies. They raised the Thin Blue Line flag and then lowered it with the American flag to half staff. Pastor Jeff Sandgren then spoke of his association with law enforcement and led a prayer, “Blessed are the peace makers.” (Full audio is below). Sheriff Dunn said that they’ve already lost 41 officers in the United States this year. Local officers were remembered with their names read and a bell tolled for each including John Liebenstein who died May 3, 1996, by homicide in pursuit. Dunn spoke after noting that they knew the dangers of the job and that the community expects them to uphold the law, protect their property and provide a safe and secure quality of life. He said, “Our badges serve as a symbol of justice. Respect is not given it is earned. We must serve with dignity, with honor and with courage. Always remember our actions represent all in uniform, no matter the color. Our job is far from done. May God continue to protect all of us from evil and bring us safely home to our families after every shift. Be courageous but be careful. Be fair but be empathetic.” Dunn thanked all of those they work so closely with and their families who stand by them. He also thanked the community for its confidence and trust and prayers. Pictures from the event can be found on kymnradio.net and a video on the 95.1 The One Facebook page.
Tourism is a $15 billion industry
It’s a $15 billion industry. Minnesota tourism is booming and the CEO of Explore Minnesota, John Edman, adds that it creates 270,000 jobs and a $1 billion in state taxes. Northfield Outdoors co-host, Dave Vesledahl ,spoke with him at the Governor’s Fishing Opener where Edman commented on the importance of moving the Fishing Opener to other areas of the state, bringing awareness to what all areas of Minnesota has to offer, not just “Up North.” Edman has been the chair and CEO of Explore Minnesota since 2004.