I’ve noticed that our City Officials and Staff have recently suggested breaking the proposed $1.2 million for City Hall renovations into phases. Apparently the first phase will be a few hundred thousand dollars for window replacement. A recent piece on MinnPost makes me wonder…maybe we can get Obama to pay for the windows at City Hall.
One of the City’s consulting firms, Johnson Controls, has run some numbers that suggest that public spending for new windows at City Hall will save the town money over the long term in energy costs. According to the Minnpost story, Obama favors investment projects that support his energy policy; thus there is support for those in which “public buildings would be made more energy efficient”. Perhaps waiting until the new administration has their programs in place could save Northfield a few hundred thousand dollars that could be used for other projects.
I’m wondering if there are additional local projects that might be eligible, even favored, for Obama’s spending plans. Another type of project mentioned in the piece is better internet connections for schools, libraries and hospitals. With the colleges’ super high-speed backbone already in town, perhaps we can get Washington to pay for the “last mile” necessary to make these long-discussed connections a reality.
As you might suspect, my mind quickly returns to the Northfield Industrial Corporation Transportation Task Force’s July 2000 “Recommendations for Improvements in Safety, Access and Quality of Life Issues for Northfield Transportation”. As I’ve mentioned once or twice before, the group identified 12 priority projects, of which only one and a half have been addressed to date. I’ll call out to my Blandin Buddy Kris Vohs and raise the 1998 plan for the Jefferson Parkway Extension from the dead. Do you think if we’d gotten beyond discussion to plans and specs that the financing might have suddenly been available?
But enough about my pet projects, I wonder if some of the folks serving on City Boards and Commissions have some thoughts. Are there any priority projects, related to roads, bridges, water and energy that are actually ready to go? Is the appropriate State Agency aware and supportive? Is the necessary community support in place?
Don’t wait until June. Looks like the time to get them on the table is now.