Council to pay for Thompson Hotel pest eradication

WORTHINGTON - After being urged by a Nobles County District Court judge to do something about the pest infestation  situation at the Thompson Hotel Apartments, the Worthington City Council on Monday passed a motion to spend up to $60,000 for a heat treatment in the 39 residential units.

According to Director of Community and Economic Development Jason Brisson, the first pest control company consulted several months ago said complete eradication was not feasible until the roof of the building was repaired. Brisson said he consulted a different company, who recommended the heat treatment in each unit. Residents will be able to return to their units the same evening, he said, but clutter will need to be removed before the process takes place.

City Administrator Steve Robinson said the city is trying to wade through figuring out which parts are the city's responsibility, especially after they received word that the Lighthouse Management Group has put a manager into place at the apartments. Wells Fargo has foreclosed on the property on a mortgage of approximately $300,000, he said, and the city had hoped they would step forward and take over.

"Wells Fargo has been a real phantom in this process," Mayor Mike Kuhle commented.

In deciding whether or not to move forward with a $60,000 eradication process, Councilor Chad Cummings said something needs to be done, and the sooner the better.

"There are kids that live in there," he said. "There are adults working in different places in our community. They are all putting on clothes with pockets. They're going to how many places in our community? There are over a hundred people that work among our community, go to school, work in the food industry."

Cummings called the Thompson Hotel a breeding ground for pests and a detriment to the community.

The council opted to move ahead with the pest control, and will work to get Wells Fargo involved. Robinson said the city does have the authority to empty the apartments for the treatment, but they will contact the renters to coordinate as much as possible.

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