Arson investigation at the Nfld Library construction site
Just before 4 this morning, the Northfield Police and Fire Departments responded to a fire at the construction site of the Northfield Public Library. Fire Chief Gerry Franek said a forklift was fully engulfed when they arrived. Firefighters had to cut the locks to get into the construction area and use a foam agent to extinguish the blaze due to the diesel fuel in the fork truck. The State Fire Marshall was called and responded to complete an investigation to try to determine if the fire was set intentionally or if it was a mechanical issue. There were no workers or other persons present when Officers and Firefighters arrived. Nothing else appeared to be damaged, the forklift was a total loss. The investigation continues.
Request for special legislation to extend TIF approved
The Northfield Council approved a resolution authorizing staff to submit a request for special legislation to extend the Riverfront Tax Increment Finance District by three years to July, 2019. Mayor Graham explains very briefly TIF, “you take the undeveloped piece of land and whatever that tax money is”.. and then figure what the taxes would be with development on there. “The difference is the increment”. He added, “we can grab that increment and utilize that money to use as incentive to help development occur”. The Riverfront TIF will allow tax advantages to The Crossings area at Hwy 3 and 2nd street. Right now, Rebound Enterprises continues to move forward on a Marriott Fairfield Hotel in that location. They’ve submitted a site plan and Community Development Director Chris Heineman says they hope to bring it back to council in early May. He added that the request for extending TIF would impact the overall site development not specifically the hotel site. The hotel site is primarily on lot 6, the area was planned as the sister site to the condominiums. If things go as planned, the majority of the site would qualify for TIF funding. However what, “is not able to be captured are additional either land purchases or development costs on the adjacent parcels that are still within that TIF distinct”. He added, “this is a legislative process. It requires our local representatives to carry it forward to committee”. The legislation itself would be just 2 or 3 sentences. Heineman says there are many examples of other cities who have extended the tax district. Council approved it 4 to 1 with Ludescher voting no. DeLong and Peterson White were absent. Mayor Graham’s interview is posted online at kymnradio.net with further explanation of Tax Increment Financing.
Kyte to conduct search for Superintendent
Superintendent Chris Richardson will retire in July. The School Board chose to engage one of Northfield’s own, Dr. Charlie Kyte, to perform the search for a new Superintendent. Richardson said Kyte’s company will be putting together lists of people for focus groups. The various groups will include teachers, parents, administration and community members. During the week of March 28th, the consultants will work with them to define and refine the qualifications they’re looking for. An internal search will take place first and then those candidates would be interviewed the week of April 5th. If they find that person, the Board could select an internal candidate, if not, they’ll go outside.
Click below to listen to the 3-16-16 NEWS podcast:
Listen for news updates on-air at 6, 7, 8, Noon, 3 and 5