By Teri Knight, News Director
The City of Northfield made it clear Monday night that they don’t want Bridgewater Township to become a city and Bridgewater has made it clear that they may very well file the petition to incorporate in September. Northfield’s current annexation agreement with Bridgewater expires at the end of this year and, over the last year, the township has held multiple meetings, engaged attorneys and financial consultants, and met with residents in their homes regarding possible incorporation. In February of this year, Northfield City Council approved the creation of a subcommittee of Mayor Rhonda Pownell and Councilors Brad Ness and Jessica Peterson White to work on negotiating a new annexation agreement. While there seems to have been a stalemate, news came that the subcommittee along
with Northfield Community Development Director Mitzi Baker and City Administrator Ben Martig met with the Bridgewater Township Supervisors Glen Castore, Gary Ebling and John Holden yesterday morning after the council approved a resolution to continue working on negotiations and to approve $100,000 for a legal fund, should they need it. During that morning meeting with the Bridgewater supervisors, Martig said they walked through the resolution the Northfield council passed which says, “We want to continue to explore an extension of the orderly annexation agreement as a solution to the challenges they’re facing. And we also offered to proactively work with them on dealing with their revenue diversification issue that they’re looking at, so we had a clause in there that said some of the areas that they’ve looked at rezoning in a rural area really is probably appropriate kind of in an agricultural setting and wouldn’t require any municipal services, so we offered to say, ‘hey, we’d like to approach Rice County with you;’ potentially there’s a way of rezoning that could be achieved with that.” Northfield also offered to extend the current agreement while the two communities negotiate. One area Northfield would contest should Bridgewater file to incorporate would be the Brookside and Heath Creek developments as they are in a proposed growth area. In an email, Martig said Castore verbally thanked Northfield for the resolution and noted it is very much appreciated that it addressed a number of questions they posed in prior correspondence and will help move their discussions along. Mayor Pownell commented this morning, “We had a really good meeting and Glen Castore will be sending a letter back to us about some things that they would like to see in extending the orderly annexation agreement for a period of three years just to give us some time so that we can work through the different issues.” She said it’s a start of a process. The City of Dundas has had their own meetings regarding the possible incorporation [of Bridgwater Township] and is also not in favor of it. Click on related documents: 3 – Resolution 2019-014 Authorize Negotiations with Bridgewater for Orderly Annexation Agreement 4 – 2019_6_12 Bridgewater Resolution Preparing Incorporation Petition 2 – Resolution 2019-060 Proposing 5-Year Orderly Annexation Extension 1 – Proposed Resolution establishing growth and development principles and policies re Bridgewater incorporation (final) 080519
Two rescued from Cannon – one firefighter injured
Two people were rescued last night from the Cannon River. Around 6 p.m., Rice County deputies and first responders were dispatched to a report of stranded people on the Cannon River south of Dundas. Sheriff Troy Dunn said a group of people entered the river near Wilderness Park to ride inner tubes down the river. The area they went in at was almost completely covered by downed trees and two of the tubes deflated when they floated into the trees. 45-year-old Nicole Mars of Cottage Grove and 23-year-old Caleb Mars of Newport were able to swim to shore after being submerged for a short time. They were rescued by Rice County Water Patrol staff and a DNR officer using the county’s Pro-Drive boat. Dunn said no one in the group was wearing a personal flotation device. He has been vocal about warning people not to travel the Cannon yet as there is so much debris in the river. Some of these areas are also not accessible by land and it’s difficult to locate victims. At least one firefighter was treated at the scene for injuries sustained in the search. His injuries are believed to be non-life threatening. Dunn added that people are not only putting their own lives at risk but the lives of our first responders. The full press release with more information is below:
Rice County offers child vaccinations
August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Rice County Public Health reports there have been over 1000 cases of measles in the U.S. this year — that’s the highest number in one year since 1992. Minnesota currently has an outbreak of Hepatitis A. The HPV vaccination is designed for cancer prevention and vaccines are available for children 18 and younger whether or not they have insurance through the Minnesota Vaccines for Children program. Rice County Public Health holds walk-in immunization clinics every Tuesday from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Rice County Public Health, 320 Third Street NW, Faribault. Call 507-332-6111 for more information or visit the Rice County website.