By Teri Knight, News Director
A local sales tax option could be on Northfield’s November ballot. In a 6 to 1 vote, the Council approved asking the legislature to allow them to place a ½ cent sales tax option on this year’s ballot. The dollars collected must be used for capital projects and have a regional benefit. Administrator Martig shared three options at the Council meeting. They chose Option A which could include, Martig said, “the riverfront corridor improvements that we’re doing, Bridge Square, Riverwalk, Ames Park, Babcock Park would be eligible. And then around sports and recreation, health related activities. We have a soccer complex, we have Sechler Park as an example. We have defined it exactly but are there enhancements for those like restrooms”. It would also leave the door open to provide
funding for sports and recreation at the Senior Center, aka FiftyNorth. The City owns that building. Additionally it would cover replacing the roof of the current Ice Arena and transition the refrigerant that is now not being sold. The City could get feedback from the tax committee to tweak the resolution if necessary. Councilor Ness moved Option A saying, “I think it’s a good source of additional revenue for our parks. I think it’s pretty clear from the surveys that bike paths, walking paths are pretty important”. He added that the trails are in desperate need of repairs and updates and this is a good way to do it. Peterson White said it’s a way to relieve the burden on the property taxpayers. DeLong felt it was a good idea but he wanted more specifics. The resolution will be sent to the State for review.
T21 passes in Nfld with restrictions on buying as well as selling
T21 passed on the Northfield Council Consent Agenda. Police Chief Monte Nelson said a couple of weeks ago that the ordinance was crafted by many hands including himself and our City Attorney. Northfield’s ordinance makes it illegal to sell and/or buy tobacco products under the age of 21, a difference from other cities that only make it illegal to sell. Nelson noted that it takes a week to post the Ordinance to the public, then 30 days before it can become effective. So it will be late February before it takes effect. Northfield is the 59th community in Minnesota to approve T21. President Trump signed it into Federal law in December but local police don’t enforce federal laws, it’s out of their jurisdiction.
CRDTF nets 4 suspected drug dealers
Four suspected drug dealers were jailed recently in Rice County. Last September, Cannon River Drug Task Force agents set up 4 different drug buys using Confidential Reliable Sources. Each of the criminal complaints have to do with selling heroin, two near a school in Faribault. 19 year old Esmerelda Joy Carrejo and 20 year old Dakota James Michael Savoie are charged with 2nd degree drug sale in a school zone for allegedly selling .2 grams of heroin to a CRS on September 2nd and 4th. The charge carries up to 25 years in prison. 26 year old Matthew Taylor Hogate and 19 year old Tarence James Monahan are charged with 3rd degree drug sale for allegedly selling .4 grams of heroin on September 12th and 19th. That charge carries up to 20 years in prison. Three will appear in court on January 29th. Hogate will make his appearance on February 12th.