No. 3 Story of the Year: City Works on Police Station, Post Office and Skateboard Park
Here's a look at three big topics that faced the Northfield City Council in 2012.
As the end of the year approaches, Patch recaps the biggest stories of 2012—both in terms of pageviews and impact on the Northfield community.
Here's a look at three big topics that faced the Northfield City Council in 2012. Links are most current at the top of each section.
Northfield Safety Center/Police Station
After several years of discuss and a plan to build a joint police and fire safety center, like the city currently uses, the city council opted to build a new police facility on a 4.2-acre site at 1601 Riverview Dr. behind Perkins Restaurant. The current facility will be renovated for continued use by the Northfield Fire Department.
Then there was the question of how to fund it.
After going through a few different financing plans, the council landed on selling $6.28 million in lease-financing bonds and then putting up $1 million from various budgets ($500,000 from the city’s general fund, $400,000 from the capital reserve fund and $100,000 from the IT equipment replacement fund). There was also ongoning opposition from a group of residents and a petition against the city and council who wanted the financing option to be voted on by the community. Catch up on all the action by checking out the links below.
- Safety Center: Bonds Sold, Debate Continues
- Petition Update: Safety Center Financing
- Council: Ganey Resigns, Safety Center Petition Update
- Northfielder Starts Petition Over Safety Center Financing
- Council: $7 Million Tax Credit for Income Qualifying Families, Discusses Pending Lawsuit
- Safety Center: City Would Defend Itself in Lawsuit
- City Council Approves $6.2 Million in Bonds for Safety Center
- Council Approves New Financing Plan for Northfield Safety Center
- HRA Nixes Northfield Safety Center Financing Plan
- Northfield Council Releases Statement About Safety Center Financing
- Council Moves Ahead on Safety Center Financing
- Council Approves $7.28 Million Lease Revenue Bonds for Safety Center
- VIDEO: Council Discusses Aging Fire Department Fleet, Safety Center
- Northfield Council Approves Raises for City Employees, Moves Ahead on Safety Center Bonds and Domestic Partnership Registry
- Council Moves Ahead on Safety Center; Considers Bond Referendum, Sales Tax Increase for Funding
- VIDEO: Council Addresses Sales Tax, Safety Center, Wards
- VIDEO: Council Talks Northfield Depot, Safety Center
- Northfield Council to Split Police, Fire Department Facilities
- Central Valley Co-op Site Becomes Favorite for New Northfield Safety Center
Downtown Post Office
The United States Postal Service in 2011 identified the downtown Northfield post office as one of thousands of locations to consolidate or close. In this case, the USPS wants to move the downtown operation to the USPS postal carrier annex at 2101 Cannon Road, near Target in the southern end of the city.
More than a year and a half after the announcement, Northfields are still trying to find ways to keep a downtown post office presence. The Northfield Post Office will remain in downtown Northfield until the building sells, according to USPS spokesperson Peter Nowacki.
The historic Bridge Square post office is one of dozens of properties listed as on the market on the United States Postal Service’s properties-for-sale website. The asking price for the 13,251 square-foot building, half-acre lot and 15 parking spaces is $795,000, which is a reduction from the original asking price of $845,000.
The city council last year offered $1 for the property and offered free rent to the USPS to continue operations. The council remains active in working with various groups to find a solution for the space. Catch up on all the action by checking out the links below.
- Investors Submit Offer for Downtown Post Office
- Council Talks Downtown Post Office Process
- Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Steps in to Block Northfield Post Office Sale
- Bridge Square Post Office Up for Sale
- Post Office Could Be Put Up for Sale Within Days
Northfield Skateboard Park
The council on Dec. 5 unanimously approved a motion to locate a permanent skateboard park on the west end of Riverside Park. The Council agreed to allocate $60,000 to the project, half of which will come from the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board's budget. Should Riverside not work for any reason once the project begins, Old Memorial Park has been recommended as a second choice.
This past summer, a temporary skateboard park was housed at Riverside Park, which received both a good and bad response from neighbors and those invested in the issue.
The council motion was welcome news for advocates who have worked for many years to get a permanent park in Northfield. Catch up on all the action by checking out the links below.
- Council Approves Skateboard Park, 7.39 Percent Levy Increase
- Park Board Recommends Riverside Park for Skateboard Park
- PRAB Skateboard Park Recommendation Deserves Our Support
- Park and Recreation Advisory Board Recommends Skateboard Park Location
- Moving Forward Toward a Skateboard Park
- The Opportunity of a Skateboard Park
- Feedback: New Businesses, Skateboard Park, Corrections System
- Park Board Recommends Riverside Lions Park for Temporary Skatepark Site