By Teri Knight, News Director
Yesterday, Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan unveiled the final bonding packages in the Local Jobs and Projects Plan, including $2.5 million for the City of Northfield’s regional transit hub. Rep. Todd Lippert said, “The governor’s bonding proposal serves as a great start to the conversation we’ll be having at the Legislature this year around improving Minnesota’s infrastructure, and I’m thankful Northfield’s regional transit hub was recognized. The transit hub will expand transit options for area workers, residents, and students traveling to and from our community. This investment will benefit Northfield and our entire region.” A complete list of the recommended projects can be found here.
The Rock House to be sold to make room for roundabout
The Northfield School District is planning to sell the House at 1620 Division St. Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann explained that the Rock House has been used to teach life skills to special education students. With the new roundabout coming in at Jefferson Pkwy and Hwy 246, the District needs to clear it. This Spring they plan to sell to a buyer who would lift the house and move it to another location to sell. They would then move the life skills program into the high school building. They have a two part plan, one for Spring and one for Summer, where they will reconfigure a current special education classroom into an apartment to learn those living skills. Additionally,Hillmann said they spend $30,000 a year transporting those students just from the High School to the Rock House. The School Board met in closed session this week to discuss the sale of that land and two other areas. Hillmann’s full interview is HERE.
Bump out for 7th & Water
The Northfield Council discussed the addition of more bump outs to the 2020 mill & overlay street project. Administrator Martig said they came to “mostly” a consensus this week, looking at data to support the inclusion of a bump out at 7th St. and Water, which is outside the project area. However, it’s a truck route, so the turning radius came into question. Martig said, “they did the geometrics where they got computers to simulate the different types of delivery trucks to be put in there and the issue is you can’t really fit both unless you’d be able to design it to have a rollover capacity”. The plan would be, “curb extensions that are mountable and we would have a painted crosswalk” on the streets. Martig said they had no consensus on adding any more. Curb extensions are the same thing as bump outs. They do cost more and add some challenge to plowing. The bump outs added last year to Division St. had to be redesigned to smooth traffic coming and going from businesses. Designing of our local streets has an impact on all future projects.
St. Olaf invites Community to 1st ever Unity March for MLK Day
María Pabón is the Director of the one year old “Taylor Center for Equity and Inclusion” at St. Olaf College. She explains that it’s a brand new center that works with students from “marginalized identities” including LGBTQ, students of color and also those who want to work with social justice. They provide the resources and programs. With the addition of the Taylor Center and Pabon, St. Olaf College will be holding some special events on Monday to mark MLK Day. It starts at 9:30 with breakfast pastries at Regents Hall then at exactly 10:10am, in front of Old Main, they will march. Music will be a part of it. A lecture by civic leader Dr. Abdul Omari titled “Would You Follow You?” is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. in the Buntrock Commons. In between the Unity March and Keynote, they’ll engage the students and community in a different way. They’ll have a booth to register to vote and a service project where they will be making blankets for children to donate to non-profits including the Community Action Center. Pabon encourages the entire community to take part in this very first Unity March at St. Olaf. Listen to her full interview HERE. Here is the full list of Events.