Northfield girl seriously injured in car-on-bike crash; No referendum on the modernization of secondary facilities this fall; Northfield City Council Approves 2023 NAFRS Budget

Northfield Police Department reported last night that a 14-year-old girl from Northfield was airlifted to the Hennepin County Medical Center after being hit by a car.

At approximately 5.51am yesterday, Northfield Police were dispatched to report a personal injury accident involving a car and a cyclist on Jefferson Parkway at the intersection with Afton Street. The cyclist was seriously injured and was treated at the scene by first responders from the Northfield Area Fire and Rescue Service, Northfield Police Department and Northfield Ambulance.

The cyclist was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center where she is listed in critical condition.

The statement said the driver of the car was an 18-year-old man from Northfield and was not injured. He cooperated with officers and soldiers investigating the accident.

Neither the name of the victim, nor the name of the driver, or any other information has been made available by the police department.

The Minnesota State Patrol is handling the crash reconstruction and assisting in the investigation.

School board ‘stifling’ secondary school improvement

The Northfield School Board met in a working session on Monday evening to further discuss the needs of the secondary school and the options available to them to meet those needs.

The discussion was top-down, with little consensus on the board. A report submitted to the board of directors by a facilities task force last spring made several recommendations, ranging from fixing infrastructure issues like the HVAC system and improving lighting, to upgrading classrooms, the addition of a pavilion and improved space for the music department. In total, the recommended upgrades could cost up to $87 million. Any improvements, even a single section of the recommendations, would require a community-approved bond and a referendum on the ballot in November.

Superintendent of Schools Dr Matt Hillmann said the board had decided, as he put it, to “pump the brakes” on making improvements this year. Therefore, there will be no referendum asking for money for high school improvements this fall.

Hillmann said it became apparent on Monday evening that there was not enough time left to reach consensus on what a referendum should include, so instead the council will take the time needed to do more research. and deepen some key conversations.

The decision was made to contract with Minneapolis market research firm Morris Leatherman and ask the community more directly for the general opinion of the high school, the direction the school board has taken. and perhaps most importantly, what the community is willing to pay, if any, to make the necessary improvements to the building.

The council also intends to conduct a series of focus groups on technical education programs and what district citizens expect in terms of preparing students for the job market.

Finally, Hillmann said the district will use this time to engage in further conversations with other government agencies and some potential private partners regarding improving athletic facilities.

“They understand that we need to take a look at our sports facilities, and there are other government agencies who have expressed interest as well as potential business partners who have expressed interest in possibly coming together in partnership for a different view. sports facilities in Northfield.

He said those conversations would include the topic of a new indoor rink.

Finally, Hillmann said the council will likely hold a referendum on the ballot to renew and expand the capital projects tax from $750,000 to $1.25 million in a bid to redirect employee wages. specific districts and provide needed relief to the general fund.

Jeff Johnson’s full conversation with Northfield Schools Superintendent Dr Matt Hillmann can be heard here

NAFRS budget increase could be a 2.5% increase in Northfield tax levy

On Monday evening, Northfield City Council approved its share of the Northfield Area Fire and Rescue Service budget for 2023.

As widely announced, the NAFRS budget will increase by approximately 50% in 2023, from $800,000 in 2022 to $1.2 million most likely next year. City Administrator Ben Martig, while presenting an overview of the budget to council members present, said the main reasons for the increase include a change from the position of fire chief to a full-time position, a increased pay for firefighters and the command team, and is catching up on training that had been dropped during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry renewed its efforts in code enforcement and fire prevention, which is another reason for the increase. Finally, inflationary concerns are also contributing factors.

The City’s contribution to the budget increase would be just under 72% of the total budget, or $881,487. Martig said if the city funded its full contribution through the tax levy, it alone would represent a 2.45% increase in the tax levy.

The budget may not benefit from a full 50% increase if the organization decides to stay with a part-time leader, which would then require a more modest 25% increase. However, Martig said, all indications are that the full-time model will be the direction the department takes.

With three board members absent, the budget contribution was approved by a unanimous 4-0 vote.

Rich Larson is KYMN’s News Director. Contact him at [email protected]