Earlier this month, the City of Minnetrista (western Hennepin County, pop. 4,300) opened their new police facility. See the May 3 article in the Lakeshore Weekly News titled Police settle into new building:
The department left behind the 5,000 square feet it had worked in for the last 10 years and moved into 23,000 square feet of space designed to improve the department’s readiness and safety… The space was built to meet the needs of the department for the next 20 years. With a price tag of $9.1 million, including a public works garage and interest on bonds, it’s also expected to take 20 years to pay off.
The facility was built “after eight years of study and a significant amount of controversy.”
A vocal group calling itself Save Minnetrista set up a Web site, organized a petition and posted signs throughout the city to voice its opposition. The group asked for a referendum to determine whether the city should proceed with the project. They also questioned the timing of it during tough economic times.
The Save Minnetrista website says:
“Save Minnetrista” is a resident group that is concerned with the massive city spending project being pushed through City Hall – without citizen vote. During this economic crisis, now is not the right time for City Hall to raise your taxes so they can build a $7 to $10 Million dollar pet project.
It seems like there might be something to learn from what happened in Minnetrista, whether you support the current plan to construct a new police facility or would rather see the current Safety Center rehabbed as a police-only facility with a new fire facility built elsewhere.
See the City of Northfield’s Police & Fire Facilities Projects page for more.