By Teri Knight, News Director
It passed but it wasn’t without designing from the dais. The Northfield City Council approved the 2020 Mill & Overly Street Project this week. The focus of the project will be on the northeast side of town, mainly in the area around Carleton. Another smaller area is off Jefferson Road, Heritage Drive and 7th and 8th Streets around Water Street. The council looked at the area with an eye to their newly adopted bicycle/pedestrian plan for sidewalks and bike lanes. Mayor Rhonda Pownell commented, “There will be some on-street cycle tracks that will be painted on the existing roadway primarily on 4th Street, 2nd Street and College Street, as well as Heritage [Street].” After studying the pedestrian traffic, Bolten and
Menk consultant, Brian Hilgardner, suggested bump-outs at two intersections: Third Street & Winona Street and Third & College Street. Councilor Erica Zweifel thought those were random choices. They were not included in the council vote which passed 6 to 1 for Option 2, 2- 2020 Mill and Overlay_ Accept Feasibility Resolution_Option 2 which would add an On-Street Cycle Track on College Street between First Street and Third Street, adding $20,000 to the $4.2 million project. Carleton College has indicated they would pay for that section. Pownell, who was the no vote, explained, “…because I don’t think that we went far enough in ensuring that we were making sure people that don’t have ease of getting around our community that we were putting in place infrastructure adjustments that made it easier for them.” During the open mic period, Will Schroeer spoke regarding bump-outs and safety, specifically at 7th and Water and 3rd and Oak. Commenting on the consultant, he said, “The gentlemen has a folksy manner. He told you there are guidelines for when to put in bump-outs; he didn’t apply them, he chose not to apply any of those guidelines, he didn’t give you any reason why we’re not [couldn’t hear exact wording] and advancing the safety of our older citizens, literally none. Similarly with Laura Baker, substantial use at that intersection documented by the consultants, no reason given why we wouldn’t put in a bump-out there and improve their safety. No analysis applied whatsoever, just a guy sitting on a corner making judgements but not sharing them you. That’s your job to make those judgments.” There was an additional motion for bump-outs at Third and Oak near Laura Baker and at 7th and Water; that vote was 5 to 2 with Councilors Brad Ness and David DeLong voting no. After an hour and a half of discussion, they voted to order plans and specs for their design. There will be a public hearing on December 3. I have links with more information on kymnradio.net. Link to all the documents from Nov. 5 CC meeting regarding 2020 Mill & Overlay Street Project.
Phone scam uses Sheriff’s Department phone number
Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn warns of another phone scam. This past week, a number of residents received calls from scammers identifying themselves as Sheriff’s Office staff. Dunn said, “When you look at the number, it is the Sheriff’s office non-emergency number. So you answer and the person says ‘Hi, I’m Lt. Johnson from the Rice County Sheriff’s Department and I have legal action that’s taking place. You need to call me right away’ and they leave a different number. ‘My direct number,’ he says.” If residents call, they tell them they failed to appear for court or jury duty and the judge has issued a warrant for their arrest. Dunn says, with how busy people are, they think they may have forgotten. The scammer then gives an option to pay a fine or bail over the phone by giving them a credit card number or a bank account number. These scammers are using real names of former and current staff as well as current judge’s names. Dunn says, THIS IS A HOAX. If this were the real thing, you would get a personal visit by a real deputy. Dunn says please do not give any personal information over the phone. The full press release is on kymnradio.net.
Blaze orange ‘color of the day’ for Saturday
Firearms deer season opens Saturday. Northfield Police Chief Monte Nelson wants folks to be careful. If you’re a runner, a bicyclist, a walker or out working anywhere someone could be hunting, make sure you’re wearing either blaze orange (“the legal color”) or a shade of lime green now allowed by many states (“that safety yellow”). Put a vest on your dog too. We’ll have more from Sheriff Dunn on hunter safety tomorrow.