Council nears physique cam passage; NDDC receives donation for Enterprise Help Fund; Residence Power Squad involves Northfield

By Rich Larson, News Director

Northfield City Council met last night on a number of agenda items including a public hearing on the acquisition and use of bodies Cameras for the Northfield Police Department. As expected, the conversation was thorough and there were many questions. The discussion was not without surprise, however.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was Councilor Suzie Nakasian’s position. Councilor Nakasian had said in previous sessions and working sessions that she was skeptical of the need for body cameras in Northfield and felt that the $ 100 to $ 125,000 cost did not justify the program. During the meeting, however, Nakasian stated that she had listened to Police Chief Mark Elliott and members of the Police Policy Review Committee and had been persuaded to vote for the program.

On the other hand, Councilor George Zuccolotto criticized the way in which the program had been presented to the Council. He said it was a mistake to offer a body cam program as a foregone conclusion because there was insufficient discussion of the policy and the wider range of the council’s need to consider not only the policy but also the standards of the police department is held. His concerns were not so much about the things that body cameras would clear up, but rather about the things that he didn’t think cameras would affect at all.

“Last summer we saw a man who was murdered by the police. With a video camera. With crowds around him saying, “Stop it, stop it, this man can’t breathe.” A camera does very little to stop a member of the police force who already has bad intentions. “

Despite Councilor Zuccolotto’s concerns, the measure was endorsed by several Councilors and attempts were made to apply on the fly to authorize the police department to purchase cameras and implement the program. However, questions about the exact household number were too many to answer and the application was withdrawn. An application is expected at an upcoming meeting.

NDDC makes grants available

Northfield Downtown Development Corporation announced yesterday that it is offering another round of Business Support Grants thanks to a donation from Wings Financial Credit Union.

An announcement posted on the NDDC website states that Wings Financial has donated $ 7,000 to the NDDC Business Support Fund. Downtown businesses can now apply for grants of up to $ 1,000 for “projects and investments that improve their business” during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Projects that are eligible for a grant include operational upgrades, physical space updates, and marketing campaigns. Rent, incidental mortgage payments, and storage costs are not eligible.

Wings Financial Credit Union is currently building a new full-service branch on the west side of the parking lot, which will serve both Target and CUB Foods. It is the first such branch of the Credit Union in Rice County.

The NDDC announced that funds are limited and the application deadline is Monday, March 15 at 12:00 noonth. Questions can be directed to NDDC Executive Director Greg Siems at [email protected]. You can find the application page here.

City works with energy Auditors

And with rising energy costs becoming increasingly important, the City of Northfield has a solution to help people get more energy into their homes efficient.

Beth Kallestad, the city’s program director, said Northfield worked with the Center for Energy and Environment to offer home energy audits. Danielle Hauck, the customer loyalty manager at CEE, said the Home Energy Squad will visit your home and assess how much energy is being used. They’ll make some initial suggestions, such as replacing lightbulbs, to get instant savings on your electricity bill. They will then publish a report with larger, longer-term proposals. After the report was released, Hauck said the CEE would advise how best to accomplish these things by recommending contractors, making sure new equipment is highly efficient, and even helping with funding.

Hauck said the most common recommendations they make are related to wall and attic insulation.

“I like to compare the insulation of your attic to a winter storm without a jacket. If your house doesn’t have attic insulation, your house is most likely uncomfortable, draughty and makes you want a cozier space. “

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Home Energy Squad first conducts a virtual audit, which is then followed by an in-home visit. Hauck said the audits can be done at two different levels, and while the program is heavily subsidized by Xcel Energy, the cost to the consumer will be anywhere from $ 70 to $ 100. Kallestad said a link to the program can be found on the City Services page of the Northfield City website by clicking Sustainability. You can find a link to the Home Energy Squad here.

Jeff Johnson’s extensive conversation with Beth Kallestad and Danielle Hauck can be heard Here

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