Cogwheel Archive

Northfield Rotary Cogwheel | 5.20.10

May 19, 2010

Today’s Program: Randy Sampson, Canterbury Downs (Estenson)

Happy Birthday: Keith Covey (5/19) and Robert Flaten (5/21)

Next Week: Boat of Dreams, Rob Martin

Last Meeting:

Mayor Mary Rossing gave us a big picture overview on the big questions confronting the City of Northfield.

More than $3 million in deferred maintenance on the Safety Center and cramped quarters are driving a need to build new facilities for police and fire departments. No final decisions have been made about site or funding. Five sites are being considered for a new police station. Current thinking is that the existing safety center can be renovated and expanded for the fire department’s needs. (For new developments, go to

The council is also deliberating about an approach to funding this project, which could run between $8.5 and $11 million. The council must decide if they will authorize the project themselves or put it to a referendum. That issue must be resolved by June 15 to meet all of the notification deadlines.

This project relates to larger budget issues facing the city. Our abundance of tax-exempt property coupled with a steady decline in local government aid from the state is forcing Northfield to decide what mix of property tax hikes and service cuts can be justified.  Mayor Rossing pointed out that the city is in the service business. Seventy percent of the general fund budget is for personnel. Our city is growing and people expect good services. Growing the tax base is more critical than ever, she said. The discussion around industrial parks on the west side of town is important to spurring economic development in Northfield.

Presentation: Bike Tour Chairman Jack Hoschouer presented a check of $18,000 to Mayor Mary Rossing and City Administrator Joel Walinski to develop bike trails on the east side of the Cannon River from Northfield to Dundas. This is the first installment of Rotary’s $100,000 four-year commitment to the project.

Guests: Eileen Shimota (Fenton), Rianna Dilley and Roberto and Luisa (Estenson), Tom Hansen (Flaten), Larry Clifford (G. Carlson), Rhonda Pownell (Walinski), Joel Leer, Brenda Kel, Andrea Willgohs and Sidney Beaumaster (Stringer) and Mark Henke (S. Richardson).

Scholarship Enhancement: Bob Will.


President Estenson announced a Rotary pledge of  $40,000 to help the Union of Youth purchase and remodel a building in downtown Northfield. The funds would come from joint fundraisers over a five-year period.

Carl Caskey announced that $250 has been donated to Children’s Cultural Connection to help fund a two-week summer camp organized by Dina Fessler. The camp connects local youth with youth in Kenya.

Upcoming socials include a graduation party on Wednesday, June 16, and a summer social on August 5, which will include a vintage band performance. Both will be at Estenson Field House.

Coming Up

June 3 – Ted Olson – Nature Conservancy  (Lorang)

June 10 – Richard Collman – Washington National Cathedral (Lufkin)

June 16 – Graduation Party at Estenson Field House.

Welcome Our Newest Members:

Dayna Clemment – Peter Schmelzer – Mark Henke