Government

Items related to the running of Northfield

Community garden will bloom, but in new location

Seven Northfield families will get a chance to plant fruits and vegetables in a community garden this summer, but the test program won't be run in Way Park.

The Park and Recreation Advisory Board agreed Tuesday to move the gardening pilot program after several members of the Friends of Way Park voiced objections. Board member Dan Hudson, who was working on the gardens, won approval to use a piece of undeveloped city land at the corner of Forest Avenue and Hwy 19.

"I think it's a great solution," City Councilor Galen Malecha said after the decision. "There was major opposition to that being in Way Park."

Residents who spoke Tuesday evening focused on the board's decision to test the gardening program without talking to their organization, as well as their philosophical objection to allowing individual use of public land.

Park Board members said they thought that adding gardens to the park for a few months was in keeping with the uses outlined by the organization when the park was under discussion. They said the test wouldn't have interfered with long-range planning for the park, which doubled in size when the city hospital was relocated to a new site and the old building razed.


City Council, Library Board begin search for new downtown library sites

Put on your thinking caps and tell us your ideas. Go ahead and dream a little. Just type your ideas into the comments at the end of this story.

Click to view cool panoramic photo!Imagine the Northfield Public Library celebrating its centennial in 2010 in a new building perched over Highway 3, linking east and west, incorporating a pedestrian/bicycle bridge and symbolizing the city's future.

What about a new library near The Grand, with a shared downtown parking ramp and public space linking everything to the old library, which is transformed into a new use?

Too far outside the box? Maybe, maybe not, judging by the conversation launched at Monday's City Council work session.

No decisions will be made for months, and all ideas will be fair game as the council and the Library Board try to figure out how to keep a public library downtown.

"We probably have no option but to look at a single-level building on a new site," Library Board Chairman Mark Gleason told the council.


This Week at City Hall


It's going to be a busy week at City Hall, with lots of important issues under discussion. Here's a preview...

Monday, 7 p.m. City Council: The council meets in a work session to tackle the new library space needs assessment. A report released in April indicates it could cost up to $9.2 million to replace or renovate the downtown library, so this should be interesting. The council also will discuss the proposed pay equity plan for city employees.

Tuesday, 7:30 a.m. Economic Development Authority: The EDA will get a look at the revised version of the city's proposed Economic Development Plan. The consultants recently provided a draft version, which drew lots of suggestions for changes and improvements.


Locally Grown podcast #16: Sidewalk dining; Northfield Library expansion report

Issues covered in episode #16 of Locally Grown, recorded this afternoon: The "Northfield Public Library Preliminary Report on Community Needs Assessment And Space Needs" with guest Adam Gurno, library board member; also, a brief recap of Tuesday's NDDC downtown forum on sidewalk dining.

 


This Week in the Northfield Blogosphere

This week in the 'Sphere, it's death and taxes, history and politics, reform and sweaters. Wait - sweaters?

More inside...


Locally Grown podcast #15: Northfield's ultra high-speed broadband infrastructure: an economic development opportunity?

 

joel_cooper_krlx.jpgIssues covered in episode #15 of Locally Grown, recorded Friday: Northfield's ultra high-speed broadband infrastructure with guest, Joel Cooper, Carleton's Director of Information Technology Services.

Last year, the colleges brought fiber to their campuses for Internet2. The conduit containing the fiber winds its way through the middle of downtown. Could this infrastructure be made available to businesses, insititutions and residents to purchase, thereby providing Northfield with an economic development opportunity that's rare for a town its size?

Click "Read the rest of this entry..." to listen (30 minutes).


How did the Dog Park Meeting Go on Tuesday Night?

Story submitted by Rick Estenson

Grrrrreat!  A combination of citizens, city officials and members of CAP (Canines At Play) discussed the virtues and challenges of a dog park in our city.  The whole idea is to get public input to select the best possible pilot park location and then allow the CAP group to work with the City Park and Recreation Advisory Board get it done.  There was much enthusiasm in the full room at the lower level of the Archer House.


Locally Grown podcast #14: Dog Park; Monday's vote on 1306; library expansion report draft

Issues covered in episode #14 of Locally Grown, recorded Friday:

  • The proposed Dog Park, with guest Rick Estenson (0 to 17 min)

  • Analysis of the Northfield City Council' repeal of 1306 last Monday night. (17.00 to 25:15)

  • An early look at the consultant's draft report/recommendations for the library expansion. (25;15 TO 29:00)

Click "Read the rest of this entry..." to listen (29 minutes).


$9M Public Library Expansion - Draft Report

In December 2005, The Northfield Public Library had contracted library consulting firm, Robert H. Rohlf Associates (Edina), to "complete a space needs assessment for the Northfield Public Library." The consulting outfit identified two major questions needed to be answered as part of the project;

  1. determine "the needs of the community for library and information services for the next 20+ years...and what size facility will enable the community to meet those needs?"
  2. "what functional features should an expanded library include, e.g., computer labs or young adult areas?"

Northfield Dog Park?

There is a public meeting next Tuesday night -- April 25th -- at the Archer House Lower Level to describe and discuss the possibility of a Dog Park in Northfield.

Representatives of the recently formed CAP (Canines at Play) organization will be there with a number of City maps to present a short description of the vision and work they have done with the City of Northfield and its Park & Recreation Advisory Board.

More inside...


Locally Grown podcast #13: Econ Dev draft; Q-Block update; Monday's vote on 1306

Issues covered in episode #13 of Locally Grown, recorded yesterday with blogger Ross Currier, Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) Executive Director and member of the Northfield Planning Commission; and blogger Tracy Davis, local business owner, Northfield Planning Commission member and a member of the Northfield Economic Development Authority (EDA); and me, business owner.

1. The draft of the Economic Development Plan: 0 to 26:45

2. Update on the Q-Block: 26:45 to 38:25

3. The Council vote on 1306 on Monday night: 38:25 to end

Click "Read the rest of this entry..." to listen (47 minutes).


Vienna? Paris? No, Northfield.

Romantic Walk Along the Cannon

Many people went out last night to enjoy the beautiful evening -- including this couple taking advantage of a romantic evening along the Cannon.

But beware! I saw my first mosquito this morning. Heidi Hamilton also said the city will have a wide variety of projects going on this summer, but that this year's Highway 3/19 work shouldn't be quite as disruptive as last year's.

Speaking of the Cannon and projects, the Cannon River Watershed Cleanup will be 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 29. Interested volunteers can contact Hilary Ziols at 507-646-8400.


Sign of the Season: Road Construction

!{float:left;margin: 0 5px 0 0 }http://northfield.org/files/road_closed.jpg! The old joke goes like this: _There are two seasons in Minnesota: winter and road construction._

Jefferson Rd, near the clinic, was temporarily closed yesterday as infrastructure was laid for the new development to the south. I spoke with Joel Walinski from the City of Northfield who informed me that it will be temporarily closed again around Monday to replace the asphalt.

When I asked about summer plans for construction, he noted that there will be a few small projects, but the upcoming work on Hwy 3 will be the one that affects everyone.


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March's Nfld Public Library Board Meeting Notes

!{float:left; margin:0 5px 3px 0;}http://gurno.com/adam/images/books.png! March's Library Board Meeting has come and gone. This is an informal report of the happenings. To entice you to read it, there's a library joke at the end. :)

Enough with the chit-chat! On with the "Knots Landing"-esque drama of a modern public library!


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