By Teri Knight, News Director
The Northfield City Council received a quarterly update on their Strategic Plan, now in its 3rd year. Administrator Martig said, “we’ve seen major action items and policies like the climate action plan last year was adopted. We’ve had a number of economic development projects occur”. That included the 5th St. Lofts
and formation of the Riverfront Enhancement committee. Additionally he noted at the meeting that the municipal liquor store, “has been somewhat happening behind the scenes. Again, council had landed on a few different sites and we’re continuing to explore options with that. One of the things staff is currently working on is some analysis on the existing liquor store site to determine if we were to stay where we are, what are the challenges with the existing store”. As for the ice arena, Martig brought up the possible local sales tax option and, included in that, would be asset preservation, replacing the roof and refrigerant. The full presentation: 1 – Strategic Plan Update for Council Report_Q4_2019_Final . Housing is an important area they’ll be focusing on this year. Last year, the Spring Creek II affordable workforce housing moved forward. Diversity and inclusion are two other strategic areas that have seen more movement with the hiring of Program Coordinator, Beth Kallestad. Mayor Pownell commented on KYMN that it’s a bit like moving a tanker, adding, “it doesn’t move fast, is not incredibly agile either. And you have to have so many people working together in concert to be able to get it done. And of course, we don’t all agree. Did you know that?“. As this is an election year, there could be changes to the council, which means possibly different ideas on strategy. Pownell commented, “do they want to continue with the six strategic priorities and the initiatives that are in there or does there need to be a change?”. For more information: – 2 – Strategic Plan Update for Council – Q4 Update_Feb 2020 1- Strategic plan targets
Spike in DWI’s with “enhancers”
There’s been a recent spike in DWI arrests, many of whom are repeat offenders. Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn said, “and it’s people with enhancers, such as they already don’t have a license because of a prior DWI or they’re double or triple the legal limit. And it’s just really scary”. There’s now a felony DWI and you could be looking at prison time as opposed to jail time . He said it’s really concerning to him, “we need to keep talking about it, making sure people are making a plan. If they need help, they need to reach out and seek help. Whether it’s a treatment provider, a therapist or whatever it may be”. He said you can’t get complacent. Sometimes it takes multiple events before some take an assessment of themselves. The help is out there. Plan for a sober driver or take a taxi. impaired-dwi-consequences
Hillemann sees changes in need for Rice County United Way
This is the first combined grant application season for the Rice County Area United Way. Executive Director, Penny Hillemann, said they’re looking for effective programs that are shown to make a difference, “in the areas of youth success, health and wellness and people being on their feet financially, stable, safe, food on the table”. Hillemann said the understanding of caring for people has changed, some as simple as hygiene products to more serious issues such as mental health. The window for the grant applications ends on March 16th. Then community volunteers will hear presentations in May from those applying, recommendations will be made to the Board of Directors. Go to ricecountyunitedway.org for all the details. Hillemann’s full interview is HERE.