Items related to the running of Northfield

City Hall Insider

Al Roder

 City Administrator Al Roder prepares a detailed report of everything that goes on each week at City Hall. You can check it out here.

It promises to be a busy week. You can head to the City Hall site to check out the complete city events calendar and find the agendas and other details for all meetings this week. Here are the highlights:

Fire Relief Association, 6:15 p.m. Safety Center.
City Council, 7 p.m. City Hall.
Mayor's Youth Council, 7 p.m., City Hall.

Mayor's Task Force on Youth Alcohol and Drug Use. 7 p.m. NCRC.
Park and Rec Advisory Board. 7 p.m. City Hall. 
Planning Commission. 7 p.m. City Hall. 

City Hall Insider

Al Roder


City Administrator Al Roder prepares a detailed report of everything that goes on each week at City Hall. You can check it out here.

Everyone is getting back on track after two shortened holiday weeks. You can head to the City Hall site to check out the complete city events calendar and find the agendas and other details for all meetings this week.

St. Olaf, Carleton make annual donation to city budget

CollegeDonationsToNfld St. Olaf College and Carleton College recently continued an annual tradition that dates to the 1920s, when the two nonprofit institutions began donating money to the City of Northfield. On Dec. 15 each college -- with Vice President and Treasurer Alan Norton representing St. Olaf and Vice President and Treasurer Fred Rogers representing Carleton -- presented the city with a $71,000 check, for a total donation of $142,000. Northfield Mayor Lee Lansing and City Administrator Al Roder accepted the checks, which will be added to the city's general operating fund.

"Both colleges are involved in our daily community life in many positive ways," says Lansing, "just as the City of Northfield makes a positive contribution to the colleges." St. Olaf and Carleton were among the first colleges in the nation to make such financial contributions to their host city.

Northfield offers the 5,000 combined college students (roughly 3,000 at St. Olaf and 2,000 at Carleton) a vibrant downtown area, great restaurants and lodging for their visiting families, emergency services and professional access to local businesses (through such organizations as the College Board of Business Consultants). In turn, the students volunteer for local organizations and schools (teaching kids everything from ecology and music to psychology and art), and their numerous concerts and sporting events contribute to the variety of life in Northfield. Many college employees also are active in civic and volunteer organizations.

"The partnership between the City of Northfield and the two colleges is vital to Northfield's continued success," says Roder. While Northfield relies on property taxes for approximately 40 percent of its annual budget, explains Roder, the remaining 60 percent comes from a variety of sources, including gifts such as the St. Olaf and Carleton donations.

"Northfield is a culturally rich, multi-generational, pastoral location for our students," adds St. Olaf President David R. Anderson '74, who was inaugurated in November. "And the colleges provide intellectual, artistic, and spiritual resources to the city." Every year, he says, the colleges welcome the opportunity to contribute further to Northfield's vitality.

Northfield Public School Closing Early Today

StopThe Northfield Public Schools will be closing at 12:45pm today. There will be no afterschool practices or events this evening.

The Northfield Montessori will be closing at 2:30 p.m. today

In general, this also affects local daycares and preschools, so if you have a child in one of those you should contact them ASAP to get more information. We will post more closings as we learn of them.

City Hall Insider


Al Roder

City Administrator Al Roder prepares a detailed report of everything that goes on each week at City Hall. You can check it out here.

Below is a summary of meetings this week. You can head to the City Hall site to check out the complete city events calendar and find the agendas and other details for all meetings.

This week...


Reception for outoing City Councilors,  6 p.m. City Hall.
City Council, 7 p.m. City Hall 

Library Board Holiday Gathering
, 4:30 p.m. Northfield Public Library.
Environmental Quality Commission, 7 p.m. City Hall.

Hospital Board
, 6:45 p.m., Northfield Hospital.

Thanks to the sponsors who keep us online would like to take a moment to thank our generous sponsors, who have agreed to match the contributions of our new members.  Please take a good look at the list, and remember the names when you're doing business here in town.

Their generosity continues to help Northfield and become a better community.

Ray Cox makes Time magazine mention

It may not be Man of the Year, but our own Ray Cox did get a mention in the current edition of Time magazine. The Notebook section did a focus on politicians who blog, and mentions Ray as one of the first in Minnesota to do so. You can see the mention here, or check out his blog directly here.

Thanks to David Gonnerman for passing along this little news tip. If you see Northfield or one of our own residents in the news, let us know. 

Brett Reese named to hospital board

Brett ReeseBrett Reese, a Northfield businessperson, has been named to the Northfield Hospital Board of Directors. He was nominated by Northfield Mayor Lee Lansing and approved by the Northfield City Council in November.

Reese replaces Steve Delzer, who resigned last month following his family's move from the community.He will serve out the two years remaining on Delzer's term. A longtime Northfielder, Reese has a background in business development, manufacturing and finance. He serves as chair of MCG, Inc, a provider of motor solutions to the motion control industry and commercial marketplace. Reese also is a principal in Rebound Enterprises, a company that works with and invests in emerging companies and those experiencing financial or management difficulties.

Reese is active in the Northfield community in a variety of roles. He currently serves on the boards of the First National Bank of Northfield and Northfield Automation Systems, Inc. as well as various non-profit organizations such as Prairie Creek Community School and the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation. 

Northfield Public Library starts its own info blog!

Do you ever wonder when storytimes are?
When First Steps is open?
How to get a library card?
Information on book group?
What's the latest news on Booker?

Now you can click either from the library's website or go directly to the library's own info blog by clicking on the image or this link to

Have fun and keep informed the easyway!

Kathy Ness is a children's librarian at Northfield Public Library. 

Nominations sought for Human Rights Award

The Northfield Human Rights Commission is seeking nominees for its annual human rights award.  The award will be presented at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. community celebration at 7 p.m., January 15, 2007 at the Northfield Middle School Auditorium.

For consideration a nominee should be a local person or group who has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to human rights in the community or throughout the world, either through volunteer or professional efforts.

To nominate a person or group, individuals may write to Judy Dirks, chairperson of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Planning Committee at: 715 Highland Avenue; Northfield, MN 55057. 

Nominations also can be e-mailed to  The recommendation should include a brief statement about the nominee's qualifications for the award.  The deadline for submitting names for consideration is December 23, 2006.

One Farmer's View of the Ethanol Issue

Locally Grown LogoThe always perspicacious Tracy Davis is one of the regulars on the Locally Grown website. Tracy seeks out Jerry Franz, one of six farmers who are trying to build an ethanol plant in this neck of the woods:

Ethanol reduces carbon monoxide, reduces benzene, a carcinogen, and using ethanol blends reduce green house gases.(this all according to EPA) Ethanol is not the perfect fuel but it sure beats buying from the Arabs and it is a great boost to rural economies and small rural towns.

Click here to read the entire article.


Editor's note: This entry originally credited the ethanol entry to Griff, but he let us know that Tracy is the author.

Come celebrate another year of

Tis the season for fun—and for the Northfield Citizens Online annual meeting. We will be gathering at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13, at Carlson Capital Management to share a toast to another great year, another as we elect and install our new board members, another as we honor and thank our outgoing board get the idea. Let's just say it won't be a boring business meeting.

Police say Wednesday incident wasn't an abduction

Good news from Police Chief Gary Smith, who issued this press release Friday afternoon: 

The individual Northfield police officers were seeking in connection with a reported incident of a possible child abduction that had reportedly occurred on Wednesday, December 6, 2006 at 4th and Nevada has been identified.

We thank everyone who contacted the police with leads.The incident appears to not be an attempted child abduction incident.  We wish to thank the members of the news media who got this information out in a timely manner that resulted in the person in question contacting our office with the details of the incident.

Northfield Police report possible abduction attempt has received a press release from the Northfield Police Department stating, in part...

Northfield Police Officers are investigating a belated complaint of a child reporting a person attempting to get the child into their vehicle. The incident reportedly took place on Tuesday December 6, 2000 at approximately 10:20 a.m., at the corner of 4th Street and Nevada Street.

Click here to read the complete report. (PDF Format)

This Week in the Northfield Blogosphere: Repeal Day Edition

TWINB LogoThe 'Sphere ish back and we're got that... uh... thing, 'cause it's Repeal Day today wooooooooo!  Yeah!  We wuz jusht sitting here and we were all like "We should totally write that Blogostuff 'cause, it's like, due, man." And I was like "That's the besht idea I've heard all night" and then that waitress came by, you know the one... yeahhh, you know the one... and we ordered another pitcher, 'cause it's Repeal Day!  Wooooooo!  The Sphere is back!

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