Items related to the running of Northfield

2021 Mayor for a Day Essay Contest winners announced as part of the State of the City Address

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Northfield, MN (March 19, 2021)-

Mayor Rhonda Pownell revealed six Mayor for a Day Essay Contest winners during the State of the City Address, which premiered March 15 on the City of Northfield YouTube channel and Northfield Public Broadcasting. City Administrator Ben Martig introduced the students during the program. Mayor Rhonda Pownell and Mayor Pro Tem Jessica Peterson White selected the winning essays based on creativity and originality.

This year’s essay question focuses on leadership traits. The students were asked, if you were Mayor for a Day, what three leadership character traits would be the most important to have to be a great leader for the City of Northfield. Please give an example of how a leader that you have learned about in history has led with the three character traits you selected. 

The winners are:

Butler, Coleman, Gonzalez-George receive "strongly endorses" from NEA for school board election

(Press release from the Northfield Education Association)

NEA 2020 Northfield School Board Candidate Endorsement


We, the teaching staff of the Northfield Education Association, have a keen interest in the upcoming school board election. An endorsing committee, at the direction of the membership, has been given the task of screening candidates to make recommendations for the four open seats. The following value statements serve to offer perspective in guiding our decision.

We believe…

1. A school board member must see the Board as an oversight and policy-making body as opposed to one that manages the daily workings of the district. Through its efforts it affirms and sets goals for the district that align with the goals of the community, the school personnel, the realities and constraints of what can be done, and a sense of how to sustain quality.

Letter: Retired Superintendent Chris Richardson Supports Corey Butler for School Board

This letter is shared on behalf of Dr. Chris Richardson, former superintendent of Northfield Public Schools.

While there are a number of very important national election races this fall, I believe that your choices for our Northfield School Board also deserve your strong consideration.  I have had the privilege of knowing and working with current School Board candidate Corey Butler during my years as Superintendent of Schools in Northfield.  During that time Corey was serving as a reporter and editor covering both the Northfield and Faribault School Districts.  In my opinion, he went above and beyond my expectations to make sure that our community clearly understood the important educational issues the school district was facing.

Corey Butler for Northfield School Board

Public schools have mattered to me my entire life.
As a child, I found comfort and shelter in my schools. It was a place I looked forward to daily for learning, for friendship and for a sense of belonging.

Absentee/early voting options

Voters can vote early using an absentee ballot. Absentee voting for the November 3 General Election begins on September 18, 2020. Due to COVID-19, the City of Northfield is encouraging voters to vote by mail using an absentee ballot for the upcoming elections.

Pick up a new “Mask Up” window cling

As part of an ongoing effort to encourage community members and share the message to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth, the City of Northfield is making “Mask Up” window clings available for anyone to pick up at a variety of locations. People can attach the window clings to the inside of their window at home or in their office, dorm room, business or vehicle.

“COVID-19 is front and center of everyone’s mind. With the wear a mask order, we wanted to get the message out in fun way and to tailor it to Northfield,” said Michelle Mahowald, communications and human resources director.

The window clings come in two designs. One design features a cowboy hat and mask with the words “Mask up, partner.” The other features a cow wearing a mask with the words “Mask up, Northfield.”  

Northfield Public Broadcasting launches free video streaming website

The City of Northfield is launching a free video streaming website for its public access television stations.

Northfield Public Broadcasting (NPB) manages community channels 180 and 187 through Charter Spectrum. The website allows anyone to stream the cable broadcast live online regardless of individual television subscription.

Programming includes local historical biographies, library programs, gardening shows, city council meetings, school board meetings, church services and a variety of informational videos. A complete catalogue of NPB’s previous programming is available for viewing at any time.

Northfield Public Broadcasting (NPB) was formerly known as Northfield Community Television (NCTV) and NTV26. The new branding is part of an overhaul of Northfield’s public access cable stations. While the channels were previously managed by an independent contractor, NPB functions as a new organization within the City communications department.

Water Street will reopen in Bridge Square

On August 7, 2020, Water Street in Bridge Square will resume two-way traffic and the pedestrian barriers over the Fourth Street Bridge will be removed.

The City Council passed a motion in June to temporarily close Water Street and add the barriers from June 19 until August 7.

“The temporary situation approved earlier this summer provided additional pedestrian enhancements to improve access in the heart of downtown, near Bridge Square and the Cannon River,” said Public Works Director David Bennett.

The City of Northfield urges motorists to always drive with caution and watch for pedestrians in city limits.

Give us your best shot, photographers!

Northfield is in the process of updating the city website. The City is seeking new photos of community members enjoying events, activities, city parks, landscapes and cityscapes, culture and art, and nature and animals. Photographs must be original and taken in the last two years.

Want to show off your amazing photos for all of Northfield and the world to see? Submit your photos by Thursday, August 6. Photographers will get photo credit on the city’s website.

See requirements and submit at:

Governor Walz Mandates Face Coverings in Minnesota, Supersedes and Terminates City of Northfield Ordinance

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Executive Order effective Saturday, July 25, 2020

Northfield, MN (July 23, 2020) -

On July 22, 2020, Governor Walz issued Executive Order 20-81 (EO 20-81) mandating face covering use in many public spaces.  Under EO 20-81, Minnesotans must wear a face covering in indoor businesses, indoor public settings, and outdoors when it is not possible to maintain social distancing; they must also follow related industry guidance on the Stay Safe Minnesota Website.


The Northfield City Council had requested the Governor mandate indoor facial coverings statewide at their July 7th meeting.  Additionally, the City Council recently approved an indoor mandated facial covering Ordinance for the City of Northfield at their July 21, 2020 meeting but is now null and void due to the Governor’s action.


Overnight construction on Seventh Street

Concrete crews will be on-site during the early morning hours of Friday, June 5 to complete concrete sawing and sealing on Seventh Street concrete parking bays between Water Street and Washington Street. This work will require the parking bays to be closed between midnight and 6 a.m. on Friday, June 5, 2020. 

Swenke Ims Contracting LLC of Kasson, Minnesota is the prime contractor for the $3.72 million project.

TH 246 & Jefferson Parkway Intersection Project

The intersection of Trunk Highway 246 and Jefferson Parkway will close to all traffic beginning on Monday, June 8, 2020 to begin construction on the main road project. Access to Bridgewater Elementary School, Northfield Middle School, and Northfield High School will be maintained throughout construction.

Eastbound and westbound traffic on Jefferson Parkway will be detoured to Woodley Street via Highway 3 and Maple Street while northbound and southbound traffic on Trunk Highway 246 will be detoured to Highway 3 via Woodley Street and County Highway 1. The detours are anticipated to stay in place throughout the summer and into October.

Northfield curfew is not extended to Monday or Tuesday nights

On Sunday, May 31, Northfield Mayor Rhonda Pownell signed a proclamation declaring a local emergency and curfew starting 8:00 p.m. Sunday, May 31. The proclamation included the possibility of the curfew being extended to Monday, June 1 and/or Tuesday, June 2 if deemed necessary. City Administrator Ben Martig and Chief of Police Monte Nelson have reviewed information and decided not to extend the curfew at this time.

Other cities and counties, including Dakota County, are also cancelling their curfews as the possibility of violence and/or property damage has decreased. Northfield Police staff will continue to monitor events and potential threats in the region and locally. If threats or concerns of potential violence or damaging activity resurface, the curfew could be used again. 

Northfield Mayor Pownell Declares Local State of Emergency and Curfew

For the safety and protection of life and property

Northfield Mayor Rhonda Pownell signed a proclamation declaring a local emergency and curfew starting 8:00 p.m. Sunday, May 31.

“I applaud all those that want to safely and peacefully protest the tragic death of George Floyd; however, we cannot control those who may take advantage of the situation and damage property or endanger the safety of our community as has happened in neighboring cities. It is out of an abundance of caution and for the safety of all of our community members that this curfew declaration is put in place,” said Mayor Pownell.

Dakota County and other greater Twin City areas have experienced continuous nights of civil disobedience, including damaged and burglarized property, since George Floyd died while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25. 

Northfield EDA approves e-commerce grant for local businesses

The Northfield Economic Development Authority (EDA) approved a $15,000 grant program for restaurants, eateries and retail shops in Northfield to help them build their online commerce presence.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant stress on Northfield businesses. With fewer sit-down and in-store customers, the need for online commerce platforms has become vitally important for businesses to compete in the current economic environment.

“E-commerce platforms are cost prohibitive for some of our businesses. This grant can help alleviate costs associated with building a commerce website,” said Nate Carlson, Northfield’s economic development coordinator.

Businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees are eligible to receive a grant for 50% of costs associated with e-commerce investment up to $1,500.

The business must have been operational since January 1, 2020 and their business address must be within the Northfield city limits.

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