It's a process, but the City of Northfield is one step closer to owning the land at 1601 Riverview Dr. behind to build a new .
The City Council on Tuesday with a 6-1 vote. Councilor Suzie Nakasian dissented.
The city agreed to purchase the 4.2-acre parcel of land for $622,037.
A financing plan for the project will need to be figured out to include the cost of the land, new police facility, fire administration space and training areas.
While the plan is to keep Northfield Fire & Rescue at its current location at the intersection of Highway 3 and Fifth Street West/Highway 19, the new facility will be designed to allow for expansion to include fire vehicle storage.
The council approved to spend $10.7 million on a joint safety center in November 2010, but has since talked about ways to trimming that amount by about $2 million.
A bond referendum is expected to come before voters in November to help pay for the new Safety Center.
Increasing sales tax?
Another option the council is considering is a .5 percent local sales tax on items purchased in Northfield.
According to Northfield Finance Director Kathleen McBride, that could generate about $500,000 annually for the city, based on the total taxable sales of the city for 2009, which was $103,865.771.
"That would go a long way towards paying the annual debt service on the safety center bonds," she said.
Director Kathy Feldbrugge asked the council to take time when considering this option.
"In years past, this topic has come up quite often," she said, saying it loses momentum. "(It's) viewed kind of as a negative way to generate revenue."
She said council should talk to residents, business owners and Chamber members to get a full picture before proceeding.
In other news, the council approved a second reading of for the city. Precincts polling places have yet to be set.
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