There seems to be pretty good agreement that Northfield needs a new ice arena. Even though St. Olaf has their own new arena under construction, there is enough demand for a new arena with two sheets available.

The location has been set. 7 acres of land donated to Northfield Hockey Association in the southwest Northfield commercial district, just north of the Dundas Dome. There is one big. problem. The projected cost is $21.2 million dollars.

The first thing the advisory board said in a report to the Northfield News was to institute a half cent sales tax in Northfield and Dundas. This would require voter approval. And would if successful bring in about $7 million. Then a property tax increase that would also require voter approval could bring in another 9 million. Then grants, naming rights and the sale of the old arena could bring in another $2 million. About $3 million would have to come from the private sector.

It's going to take a big effort by the area hockey community to sell this project. There is the possibility that the arena could be built with 1 sheet for now and another could be added later. That would still require just short of $16 million dollars.

The advisory board said that there is a large demand for afternoon and evening ice time. They are going to ask the Northfield city council to approve their report on April 17 and then Dundas on April 23.Then the next steps would be to get the tax approvals on the November ballot

Nevin Giesbrecht