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From the Department of Redundancy Department (heh), this is our second blog post that publicizes our publicity efforts about this Sixth St. reconstruction project. (Our first one was back in October.)
The idea is that by publicly documenting what’s we’re doing to get the word out, we can A) get suggestions on what else we should be doing to promote the project; and B) point to our efforts if and when the day comes that someone says, “How come I didn’t know about this planning process?”
- The City of Northfield’s Public Works department has created a 2014 Sixth Street Reconstruction Project page on its website where updates are listed.
- This Sixth St. Reconstruction Project engagement blog is the complete and detailed one-stop place for all things related to the project, including online interactions
- Public Works sends letters via USPS to homeowners who live near the project whenever there’s a public meeting about it. You can see these letters on their project site or in the community meeting blog posts here.
- The City of Northfield has enabled its Notify Me service for both email and text message alerts for the Sixth St. resconstruction project. Icon links to both are on the left sidebar here on the blog.
- All updates to this blog are posted to the Northfield Citizen Engagement Twitter feed @Nfld_Engagement. Most of those retweets are retweeted by the Northfield Public Works Twitter feed @NfldPW and in turn posted to the Northfield Public Works Facebook page.
- Northfield.org aggregates the RSS feed for the project via its blogosphere service here. It pulls in the blog post headlines into its right sidebar along with new Tweets. And there is a new blog post about the project as of March 3rd.
- Locally Grown Northfield has a Sixth St. Project RSS feed widget in its inner right sidebar and a new blog post about the project as of March 3rd. LoGro also retweets the project tweets to its @LoGroNfld Twitter feed and posts updates to its Locally Grown Facebook page wall, example here.
If you’ve got other suggestions on what we should be doing to publicize this project, attach a comment.
At the Feb. 18 City Council meeting, Assistant Public Works Director/Assistant City Engineer Brian Erickson, and Joe Stapf, Public Works Director/City Engineer included some information about sidewalk policies in their request (PDF) to the Council.
Some residents of the Sixth St. neighborhood have expressed some concerns about the plans for sidewalks, so this blog post is both an attempt to draw attention to the issue and invite people to attach questions and comments to the post.
Another item of concern is we have also encountered a conflict between sidewalk policies. One policy is reflected in what staff understands to be the standard practice of installing sidewalk on both sides of a street when performing reconstruction projects.
However, we have come upon a little used policy which establishes one additional constraint, and which indicates sidewalk should not be installed within 25 feet of an adjoining structure.
In a few cases on this project, if the sidewalk is installed as normally done, it will encroach upon that 25 foot limit. The areas of concern are two blocks on the north side of Sixth Street (between Nevada and the Park, and between College and Winona, respectively), and both sides of Winona between Sixth and Seventh.
Most (but not necessarily all) residents in those four areas are aware of this conundrum, as it has been a topic of discussion at the neighborhood meetings, and we expect at least two residents will be present at the City Council meeting to express their opposition to the installation of sidewalk.
It should be noted at this time we have still included on the plans the sidewalk in those areas, which is of course subject to confirmation by the City Council.
At the Feb. 18 City Council meeting, Assistant Public Works Director/Assistant City Engineer Brian Erickson, and Joe Stapf, Public Works Director/City Engineer included some information about striping for bicycle traffic in their request (PDF) to the Council.
This blog post is both an attempt to draw attention to the issue and invite people to attach questions and comments to the post.
Finally, staff reviewed options for striping the proposed 32 foot wide Sixth Street to accommodate bicycle traffic. Most local streets within the city are not striped unless they are part of the Municipal State Aid System, which Sixth Street is not.
Sixth Street is and will remain a dead end street upon completion of the project. In addition, the adopted Park, Open Space and Trail System Plan does not show any bike lanes on Sixth Street.
Striping Sixth Street as we have recently done on Maple, Prairie and Roosevelt is not really workable because those streets are much wider, and therefore more suited to the striping. Of course this does not mean bicycles are not welcome on Sixth Street. Bicyclists must simply obey the normal traffic laws. As a result upon review, Sixth Street should be left un-striped.
City of Northfield Public Works staff sent this letter (PDF) last week to property owners along the project corridor.
The neighborhood meeting will be held at City Hall on Wednesday March 5, 5-6:30 pm.
Input sought on landscaping plans for Sixth St. cul-de-sac at Old Memorial Park. Neighborhood meeting rescheduled for Mar. 6
The neighborhood meeting with the PRAB on landscaping plans for Sixth St. cul-de-sac at Old Memorial Park, cancelled due to the snowstorm, has now been rescheduled for March 6.
Time: It’s at 6 pm, NOT 7 pm.
Place: It’s at Northfield City Hall, NOT the library.
See the details for the meeting in the blog post for Feb. 20.
At last week’s Feb. 18 City Council meeting, Assistant Public Works Director/Assistant City Engineer Brian Erickson, and Joe Stapf, Public Works Director/City Engineer presented their request (PDF) to
pass Resolution 2014-023 approving the plans and specifications and authorizing the advertisement for bids for the 2014 Sixth Street Reconstruction Project (STRT2014-A16).
The Council approved it unanimously. This week, this ad began appearing in the Northfield News, both print edition and online, as well as on the MnDOT e-Advert website.
Feb. 20 PRAB meeting with Sixth St/Old Memorial Park neighborhood cancelled due to impending blizzard
The City of Northfield has cancelled tonight’s PRAB meeting (and others) due to the blizzard warning issued by the National Weather Service. We’ll post an update here on the blog as soon as it’s rescheduled.
Input sought on landscaping plans for Sixth St. cul-de-sac at Old Memorial Park. Neighborhood meeting scheduled for Feb. 20
Assistant Public Works Director/Assistant City Engineer Brian Erickson sent this letter today (PDF) to residents in the Sixth St neighborhood near Old Memorial Park. He wrote:
One key item that remains to be completed, and which the Park and Recreation Advisory Board is interested in gaining your input, is the landscaping of a cul-de-sac is that is to be constructed at the eastern end of Sixth Street. As a result, in conjunction with the normal February Park and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) meeting, there will be a neighborhood meeting to review two conceptual plans that have been prepared. You will have an opportunity to discuss the concepts and provide input to the PRAB regarding this project.
For more background, see the four previous blog posts on the cul-de-sac issue.
If you have comments or questions and can’t attend the meeting next Thursday, attach them to this blog post.
Update 2/19: Here’s a PDF of the Old Memorial Park Master Plan, passed by the Northfield City Council on February 6, 2006.
In response to the alarming spike in propane costs throughout Minnesota, the Department of Commerce recently announced additional financial assistance for eligible Minnesotans currently heating their homes with propane and heating oil.
Financial assistance is available through Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program (EAP), with additional payments available as early as next week. Households with an income less than 50 percent of the state median income ($43,642 for a family of four) may qualify for up to $500 in additional assistance, according to the Department of Commerce.
There is also a newly-created hotline operating Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:30pm for Minnesotans who have questions about the current propane situation or who are in danger of running out of heating fuel. Residents of greater Minnesota can reach the hotline by calling 1-800-657-3504.
MPR has reported on the release of extra subsidies by the federal government and some possible reasons for the shortage.
I recently had the pleasure of touring the Northfield High School with the Senate Education Committee chair, Sen. Wiger and Sen. Dahle. We visited the 9th grade Academy, the TORCH program and a High Tech Robotics class that Mark Woitalla (seen above) teaches. This visit and a fair amount of thinking and reading I’ve been doing about how we truly get our economy back on its feet prompted me to write an article recently. Although there is good news about the improving job climate in the state they are not always the kinds of jobs that will create the vibrant economy we need. So many good manufacturing jobs have been lost to outsourcing to other countries that we need to find new ways to create these kinds of jobs. Here is the link to a recent opinion piece I wrote for the Northfield News, you’ll also find mention of the recent Climate Change event that occurred Jan. 18th at St. Olaf :
Here is a link to the Northfield News article about the recent town hall meeting:
Senator Kevin Dahle and I are cohosting town hall style meetings on Tuesday, January 25th, prior to the start of the legislative session. Please come and make us aware of issues of importance to you!
Time: 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Building: Montgomery Public Library
Address: 104 Oak Ave SE
Time: 12 Noon to 1:00 PM
Building: Lonsdale Public Library
Address: 1006 NE Birch St
Time: 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Building: Northfield Public Library
Address: 801 Washington St.
The Northfield Area Climate Summit will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18, in Buntrock Commons at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Admission is free; advance registration is required.
Meteorologist Paul Douglas will give the keynote address with a talk entitled, “Climate Change: Natural Cycle or Troubling Trend?” starting at 9:30 a.m., followed by a panel discussion and breakout sessions led by distinguished science and/or industry leaders.
Many believe that increasingly severe and frequent natural disasters are linked to climate change. Overcoming the economic uncertainty caused by these major natural disasters will take cooperation between the public, government agencies and our business community. For more information on how Northfield and the state have been affected, see my opinion piece in the Northfield News.
The Northfield Public Schools invite the public to share feedback regarding the first semester of the Transformational Technology initiative during two public meetings in January. The Transformational Technology project has provided iPad tablet computers for all students in Grades 6-12 and ‘pods’ of 4-6 iPad Mini tablet computers in elementary classrooms.
The meetings will be held:
- Thursday, January 16th | 7 pm – 8:30 pm | Northfield Middle School Media Center
- Tuesday, January 21st | 7 pm – 8:30 pm | Northfield Middle School Media Center
The meetings will include a short presentation about the successes, challenges, and opportunities the District has encountered so far with the initiative. Participants will engage in small and large group discussions regarding the initiative as well.
In addition, a survey will be sent to families in late January as another opportunity to share feedback about the Transformational Technology initiative. Please feel free to contact Director of Administrative Services Matt Hillmann (507.645.3458 or firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions about the meetings or the Transformational Technology Initiative.