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Items related to the running of Northfield

Northfield Swimming Pool Construction Update

Progress is being made on the new $2.85 million Northfield Swimming Pool at Memorial Field.  The construction started on July 7th and target opening date is June 2007.  The pictures show several sections of the new pool under construction along with the sign showing the completed pool.

More details, plans and documents can be found on the Pool Project section of the city website.



Hospital breaks ground for new clinic

Editor's note: Our thanks go to City Councilor and professional photographer Scott Davis of Stone Cottage Photography, who provided photos from Tuesday's groundbreaking. Click on the photo to see a few additional shots, or click here to go to his studio site and see a whole gallery of photos.

Northfield Hospital broke ground Tuesday on an 18,600 square foot medical clinic that will provide space for the Women’s Health Center and an expansion of physician services provided by Cannon Valley Clinic -- Mayo Health System.

The new clinic, called FamilyHealth Medical Clinic -- Northfield, will be attached to the northwest corner of the hospital. It will provide space for the Women’s Health Center and the departments of Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, General Surgery and Ear, Nose and Throat.


City Hall Insider

Al RoderEver wonder what happens at City Hall each week? Here's the scoop. Each week City Administrator Al Roder (left) shares the memo he sends to city officials summarizing all the work of all the departments. There's a LOT here, from police activity statistics to street closings and budget meetings.

Just click here to read the pdf version of the report. You need Acrobat Reader to read the file. And head to the City Hall site to check out the complete city events calendar and check out the details for all meetings for this week.

And it's a busy week...

City Council meets at 7 tonight at City Hall. One of the topics will be a recommendation by the Environmental Quality Commission to adopt an organic pest management policy, basically limiting pest control to organic products and processes. This is an information and is expected to be referred to staff for study.


Way Park plans met with enthusiasm

Spencer JonesThe City of Northfield presented a public forum to review designs for Way Park on Wednesday evening at the Community Resource Center. About 50 citizens attended, most of whom were residents of the park's west side neighborhood.

After comments from a few city officials, landscape architect and Park Board member Spencer Jones presented four different designs for the park, which doubled in size after the demolition of the old Northfield Hospital in 2005. The plans were greeted with enthusiasm by the crowd, particularly the members of the Friends of Way Park who have worked to make the expanded park a reality.

Citizens were given a chance to provide written feedback about all the designs and also to participate in a Q&A session that was moderated by Charley Skinner.

All four designs present different approaches to dealing with First Street, which bisects the park. One of the plans features the street routed around the park, funneling traffic to Second Street. The other plans run the gamut from narrowing the road to expanding it with a greenspace median or sculptural elements. Much of the public discussion focused on the street issue and safety concerns, but attendees also spoke of the desire for the park to become a true community park—not just a neighborhood resource—and to that end all four designs feature some form of performance space, in addition to maintaining the park's "tot lot" playground and ice rink.


City Hall Insider

Al RoderEver wonder what happens at City Hall each week? Here's the scoop. Each week City Administrator Al Roder (left) shares the memo he sends to city officials summarizing all the work of all the departments. There's a LOT here, from police activity statistics to street closings and budget meetings.

Just click here to read the pdf version of the report. You need Acrobat Reader to read the file. And head to the City Hall site to check out the details for all meetings for this week. Although it's a slow week, there is an important meeting Wednesday at 7 p.m., as the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board holds a public review of the city parks master plan for Way Park. The meeting will be held at the Northfield Community Recreation Center.

Editor's Note: This story was updated to include the meeting location and a clarification that the master plan under review is for Way Park. 


Northfield Under Construction: An Update

Construction continues apace for Northfield, and we've got news on three of the bigger projects - Highway 3, Northfield Crossing, and the new Library Plaza.

There's more inside and we've got a photo gallery also...


City Hall Insider

Al RoderEver wonder what happens at City Hall each week? Here's the scoop. City Administrator Al Roder (left) has agreed to share the memo he sends to city officials each Friday. There's a LOT here, from police activity statistics to street closings and budget meetings.

Just click here to read the pdf version of the report. You need Acrobat Reader to read the file.


Finally -- a primary

Right up until 4:55 p.m. Tuesday it seemed as though Northfield voters would skip local primaries and go straight to the November election to fill three open School Board and three open City Council seats.

And then Terry Gersemehl walked into City Hall and became the third candidate running for the at-large seat.

And that meant a primary for that one race. Two other City Council races will be contested in November, while all three School Board incumbents are running completely unopposed.  

City Council incumbent James Pokorney will face a challenge by James Herreid in the first ward. In the Fourth Ward, Jon Denison and Victor Summa will run for the seat Galen Malecha gave up to make a run for Rice County Commissioner. In the at-large race, Dixon Bond didn't file for re-election, but Norman Butler and Noah Cashman did. That leaves two people who have filed as of mid-afternoon Friday. Norm Butler, 1001 Division St., has filed in the at-large race. James Herreid, 13 Riverside Commons East, has filed in the first ward race.


This week at City Hall

It's another short week at City Hall, with lots of paperwork but no big issues or controversy. You can check for agendas by clicking on the individual meetings or go to the City of Northfield for a complete calendar of events.

Monday
City Council, 7 p.m.

Tuesday
Charter Commission, 4 p.m.
Environmental Quality Commission, 7 p.m.
Library Board, 7 p.m., Northfield Public Library.

Thursday
Historic Preservation Commission, 4:30 p.m.


City Hall insider

Al RoderEver wonder what happens at City Hall each week? Well, now you'll know. City Administrator Al Roder (left) has agreed to share the memo he sends to city officials each Friday. There's a LOT here, from police activity statistics to street closings and budget meetings.

City activities for the week of July 9 – July 15, 2006:


Candidates aren't rushing to file

Whether it's procrastination, indecision, indifference or just plain lack of interest, candidates haven't been beating down the doors to file for this fall's local elections.

With only two business days left before filings close Tuesday, July 18, there are few candidates on record for the three City Council and three School Board seats up for grabs.

Read the rest of the entry for the details...


Mill Towns Trail plans becoming reality

Mill Towns TrailOK, this isn’t officially a news story, but Peggy Prowe does such a readable job of recording the minutes of the Mill Towns Trail board meetings that we decided to share them as is.

And there’s a lot going on. In fact, we also just received word from Tim Madigan (Faribault City Administrator) that the City of Faribault will host a ribbon-cutting for the opening of the White Sands trail head facility at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, July 29. This facility connects the Mill Towns and Sakatah trails.

We’ll have more on the ribbon-cutting later, but here are Peggy’s notes on all that’s happening with the trail and all the opportunities for people to help.

Read the rest of the entry for Peggy's notes...


A bridge to where?

Northfield City Council members have been talking a lot about pedestrian access, and the Park and Recreation Advisory Board is working on plans for bike trails and other non-motorized access improvements throughout the city.

That’s apparently why councilors balked Monday at spending what could run as much as $175,000 to replace an old, worn wooden pedestrian bridge connecting the Viking Terrace neighborhood with, well, mostly with the Dairy Queen along Highway 3, north of downtown.

City Engineer Heidi Hamilton said it would take about $20,000 to draw up plans for a new bridge, and ballparked the total cost of a replacement at $175,000. The aging timber bridge once carried vehicles over the ravine cradling the city’s main railroad track, but now is open only to walkers and cyclists. She said the other option is to close the bridge and not replace it, moving pedestrian traffic about 300 feet to the south to a grade level crossing with flashing signals along Fremont Avenue.


City OKs Northfield Hospital Clinic

Editor's note: This story has been updated. Schroeder-Leverington had filed suit Tuesday to challenge the awarding of the contract, but dropped the challenge.

The City Council on Monday agreed to hire RJM Construction of Plymouth to build a new clinic at Northfield Hospital for $4,415,700, with work expected to start this month and wrap up in 2007.

That timeline almost faced a delay.

An attorney for Schroeder-Leverington of Bloomington confirmed that the firm filed suit in Rice County District Court to block the contract, but quickly withdrew the action because it wasn't cost effecive. Attorney Einar Hansen told the council that Schroeder-Leverington objected to the city's decision to reject its lower bid of $4,378,000 because the firm didn't meet the experience qualifications set out in the bid documents.

More inside...


Couple to move house - from Bloomington to Northfield

house on wheelsPeople move from one house to another all the time. And it’s not unusual for a family to move from a split-level to a rambler. But David and Susan Slettton are putting a twist on the usual story by moving a split-level house from up near the Mall of America in Bloomington to Northfield, putting it on a new foundation that will turn it into a rambler.

At least that’s the plan the City Council approved Monday night. The new site is 1901 Lincoln Street (click for map), just off Jefferson Road. The Slettons, who are from Farmington, said after the meeting that they don't plan to live in the house. It's just their most ambitious project so far in the process made famous on cable television home networks as "flipping." The Slettens buy homes, rehab them and then sell them at a profit. He is an experienced drywall contractor, and she works with him on their rehab projects.


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