Clark Webster, longtime volunteer with Save the Northfield Depot, stopped by my corner office at the GBM this morning to let me know that the City Council voted last night to sell a chunk of its land on the Q-Block to the group (amount? to be determined). It also voted to cover up to $11,000 in legal and environmental assessment fees.
The Save the Northfield Depot group doesn’t use a blog, Twitter, or Facebook so we don’t have any official details. Hopefully, A) one or more of Northfield’s media empires will have a story posted soon; and B) the Depot group will figure out that have a living, breathing social media presence is critical to raising public awareness and raising money.
Above: two panoramic views of the Q-Block: Left, from 2nd St, looking SE; right, from Hwy 3, looking west
Above: two views of the approximate future location for the old train depot (below).
Update noon: Some other visuals related to the depot and the Q Block, taken from Pages 1-35 of Part 2 of the council packet for last night’s meeting.
Last night, the Northfield City Council discussed whether it should give/lease Q-block property for the relocation of the Northfield train depot.
Are Quarterback Club owner Dale Finger’s objections valid?
What about Council members’ rationale for including or not including the Planning Commission and the EDA in the planning process?
Nfld News: Council: More research needed on plan to move depot
“Is it a viable business plan?” Mayor Mary Rossing asked rhetorically. “To me we’re going to have to make the case this is a good economic value to the citizens of Northfield.” Her suggestion to send the proposal to the Planning Commission and Economic Development Authority for their input got mixed reviews. Councilor Suzie Nakasian supported the idea, but Councilors Patrick Ganey, Betsey Buckheit and Rhonda Pownell found the move unnecessary…
Dale Finger, who not only owns the Quarterback Club, but a majority of land on the block under consideration, opposes the move. “I believe if the depot was to move there, any future development would have to be focused around the depot, limiting what could happen on my property,” he wrote in an April 5 e-mail to the council. “I also see this property being a gateway to downtown and someday hope a retail development will bring more traffic to the central business district.”
[show_avatar firstname.lastname@example.org]A BIG Thanks to all of you who came to last Monday’s Volunteer Organization Meeting, and to those who contacted us saying you wanted to help but could not make the meeting.
We have pretty full support for Communications and Design and Build sub-committees, and we got a web graphic designer to help with the site. Alice Thomas is facilitating the Communications group, and Steve Edwins is facilitating the Design and Build group.
What we are missing and really need are Fund Raising people. We have two grant writiers, but we need folks who are committed to the depot and are willing to go “mano a mano” asking for donations. Obviously, this group is key to the success of Saving the Depot. If you are willing to ask, or are willing to learn how to ask, please get in touch with me at email@example.com, or Rob Martin at his office at Martin Insurance. We will be head over heels to hear from you and will treat you like royalty! ; – )
[show_avatar firstname.lastname@example.org]YOU ARE INVITED! All you history buffs and train lovers put Monday, June 7, 7pm, Northfield Community Resource Center on your calendars and come help us Save the Northfield Depot. Can you make a website attractive and interesting? Can you do graphic art for fklyers and pamphlets? Are you willing to pound a few nails when the time comes? Monday night’s meeting is all about recruiting volunteers, organizing them into subcommittees, and getting on with Saving the Depot. The Depot needs all of us if it is to survive and continue to represent the history of Northfield here in the present and future.
If you can’t make the meeting but want to lend your skills to this most worthwhile project you can contactYou can call me, Lynn Vincent at 664-9554, or e-mail email@example.com. See you all Monday!
[show_avatar firstname.lastname@example.org]For the past few weeks the SNDC (Save the Northfield Depot Committee) has been focused on the dull dry drudgery of putting together bylaws, applying for 501 (c) 3 status for the group, and writing case statements, business plans and fund development plans. Like I said, dull dry drudgery. We’ve spoken to the City Administrator, members of the City Council and other interested parties about our community meeting findings, and cheered when we heard that one of our top site locations – the Q Block – would not be host to the new Police Station. We are still assessing some of the parks as potential locations and will be talking with the Park Board soon.
But now for the exciting news! We are ready to get the ball rolling by forming sub-committees of volunteers to begin working on the tasks we have identified.
- We need someone to build and update a Save the Depot website, someone who is skilled in marketing and public relations, and someone who would like to be interviewed on the radio.
- We need people who have artistic talents, publishing skills and writing skill to help with fund raising materials, people who would like to write grants for us, and someone who would design and carry out an e-mail campaign.
- We need a volunteer who has experience in project management to help link all the tasks together and monitor that things get done in a timely fashion, and someone who can track donor gifts and be sure they are thanked.
- We are looking for people who like to plan events to kick off the giving campaign, fund raising events, and to celebrate success.
- We need people who will ask businesses and community residents to support Saving the Depot.
- When the time comes we will need people who can pound nails, saw, measure, and help with the construction of the interior of the depot, the portico and the new baggage house.
- We’d REALLY like someone who would volunteer to actually move the depot when the time comes!
- And most of all, we need someone who knows everybody in the town to be our volunteer coordinator.
So if you have fund raising skills, communication skills, technology know-how, or are not sure where you might fit but want to help anyway, DO WE HAVE A PLACE FOR YOU! If this is to be a successful effort we need the whole town behind us working behind the scenes or out front in the spotlight.
You can call me, Lynn Vincent at 664-9554, or e-mail email@example.com, or get in touch with any of the steering committee members: Pat Allen, Chip DeMann, Steve Edwin, Alice Thomas, Baird Jarman, Rob Martin, Clark Webster or me, Lynn ; – )
And thanks for stepping up to help, because I know you will!
[show_avatar firstname.lastname@example.org]Save the Depot is a grassroots effort by a group of local citizens to save and preserve our historically relevant Northfield Train Depot. We started the journey three years ago when our parent group – Northfield in Bloom – noticed the depot because of all the graffiti and weeds marring the building and the saplings growing out from the foundations.
Actually, noticed is too soft a word. Incensed might be better – so incensed that we thought about sneaking onto the property in the dead of night to cut down the trees and plant flowers! But we really didn’t want to come up against Chief Taylor arresting us for trespassing, so we talked with the City Administrator and Progressive Rail to cut a deal. The railroad agreed to sell the building to the City and the City agreed to pass the owner ship on immediately to another group (us), the caveat being that the depot had to be moved off of railroad property.
So we got together with a bunch of railroad enthusiasts and historical preservationists early this year forming the Save the Depot Committee. We held three community meetings with interested citizens and stakeholders to see what other Northfield residents thought about our effort to save the 1888 depot and got a lot of good feedback and suggestions for relocation sites, uses and who might want to own the depot.
Two locations – the Q-Block and Babcock Park – were mentioned the most, and some of the uses suggested were as a transit site, a Chamber/visitors’ center, and a multi-use building.
We want to know what you think and what else you want to know about us, so we are hoping to get a great dialogue going here.
Or you can stop any of us on the street to talk. The committee is made up of Rob Martin, Steve Edwins, Pat Allen, Clark Webster, Chip DeMann, Baird Jarman, and Alice Thomas… and me!
The ‘Save the Depot’ committee held a public meeting last Monday, March 1 at the NCRC. Members include Steve Edwins, Lynn Vincent, Rob Martin, Pat Allen, Chip DeMann, Alice Thomas and Clark Webster.
I’ve turned off comments on this blog post. Continue the discussion that’s attached to the Oct. 8 blog post titled Is Northfield’s train depot worth saving?
See the album of 12 photos, the large slideshow, or this small slideshow:
Continue reading Photo album: ‘Save the Depot’ community meeting
Bob Will was our guest this week, talking with us about efforts to save the Northfield train depot. You might think Bob is an old geezer, given that he has a few ‘formers’ associated with his name (eg, former Carleton economics professor, former Northfield Rotary Club president). But he’s more than a little active in community affairs (eg, current member of the City of Northfield Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) and the Streetscape Task Force).
Click play to listen. 30 minutes. I’ve turned off comments for this post. Continue the discussion here.
Continue reading Podcast: Bob Will on saving the Northfield train depot