By Teri Knight, News Director
The Northfield Council okayed the roundabout at Hwy 246 and Jefferson Pkwy last week. With three public schools in the area, School Superintendent Dr. Hillmann commented, “I really appreciate the deliberate effort that the city went through to determine what was the safest solution at that intersection. And having seen the data and listened to all of the different options, I had gone in with an understanding that I had thought maybe a traffic light is probably the best thing there, well, I’ve learned that it’s not nearly as cost effective totally in the long term and it’s a lot less safe”. He
thanked the community as well. Hillmann is really pleased that the underpasses were added for the safety of students and other pedestrians. Additionally, there will be work going on in the area around Bierman Funeral Home as students park in the church lot across the street from the high school. As part of the project, Hillmann added that there will be a pedestrian activated beacon placed there similar to the one at the Middle School. The District owns about 1.7 acres at the intersection which will be used for the roundabout. In the past, the District has shared the cost for a pedestrian activated beacon, Hillmann explains, “and in this case, in exchange for the property, rather than paying for some of the pedestrian activated beacon by the Bierman Funeral Home, the City is going to install that for us without us contributing financially”. This hasn’t been finalized but was shared with the School Board this week.
Dundas to see new City Hall and Kwik Trip by year’s end
Progress continues on the building of a new City Hall in Dundas. Expected completion date is the end of March with the parking lot to be finished, likely, in July. Administrator Teppen said, “we’re at the mercy of that contractor so the handicapped entrance to the building is off that parking lot so we can’t open and do business out of there until that’s accessible”. They anticipate part of the building for commercial use. She had an update on the new Kwik Trip. Teppen said, “they have applied for all their permits, they’ve bid all the various pieces of the project. They got that done by the end of 2019. They have a pretty strict time schedule”. She anticipates they’ll be opening in August or September of 2020. There will be an entrance off of Hester St. and also off of Schilling. The City will be widening Hester St, however they don’t expect any closures while that work goes on.
2020 Spring flooding outlook
Local Emergency Preparedness teams are already keeping an eye on potential spring flooding. Faribault Fire Chief Dustin Dienst said in an email, “we remain on track for a very active spring flood season, given that soil moisture content is very high and river levels remain well above historical normals for mid winter”, adding, “frost depth is encouraging so far, as it is shallower than normal, but the extent of flooding will be determined by temperatures and precipitation in February, March, and April”. He said the key point is that we are in a more vulnerable situation this year than last year at this time, but we had an ideal melt last spring which kept flooding from being much worse than it was.