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Northfield Council to Split Police, Fire Department Facilities

The council approved to move ahead with purchasing a 4.2-acre site behind the Perkins Family Restaurant.

In a 5-1 vote, the on Tuesday voted for separate facilities for the fire and police departments.

Mayor Mary Rossing abstained from voting, while Councilor Rhonda Pownell was the lone dissenter. 

The council approved to move ahead with purchasing a 4.2-acre site behind the . That site would be used for a new police station, as well as house training and administrative room for the fire department, but the firetrucks would remain at the current site.

Last week, the council spoke in favor of the site as a joint facility because it believed the if both departments were housed togeter in a new place, but changed its mind on Tuesday.

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. Two options presented last week by Councilors Ivan Imms and Rhonda Pownell showed estimates below $9 million, according to city documents. Both those figures, however, were for joint facilities.

The council has authorized a bond study of the city's bonded debt for current and potential municipal projects with a focus on the impact of the city's property tax levy long term. 

Editor's note: This post has been corrected to say the council last week spoke in favor of the Central Valley Co-op site instead of voting in favor of it.

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Betsey Buckheit March 09, 2012 at 11:46 PM
To clarify, the Council did not vote the previous week on the Central Valley Coop site. Last week was a work session where the Council takes no official action. However, although no vote was taken, the Central Valley Coop site was discussed favorably as a compromise site between the more centrally located current Safety Center (too small for a combined facility among other factors) and the MNDOT owned site at the corner of Woodley and Highway 3 (which may or may not be available at some point in the near future - the uncertainty takes this site off the list) and the larger southern sites being considered.
Corey Butler Jr. March 10, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Betsey, thanks for the clarification and insight. The post has been amended.

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