Worthington City Council hears BRDTF update

WORTHINGTON - During a special meeting Wednesday, the Worthington City Council rejected a bid for the 2019 Sanitary and Sewer Improvements project, which came in 77 percent over the engineer's estimate. According to city engineer Dwayne Haffield, only the one bid was received, which came from Duininck Inc. Haffield's recommendation was to reject the bid and advertise again over the winter.

A bid for the East Avenue Sewer Improvement project from Ideal Landscape was accepted at $86,611. Haffield said both bids they received came in over the estimate of almost $65,000, but the project needs to be moved along. He said Ideal has limited experience in this kind of work, but did work on the Fairway Six project.

Normally, Haffield said, they look for a certain amount of experience, but this project is a good one for a younger firm.

The council also adopted a resolution declaring costs to be assessed and calling a hearing for the proposed assessments in regard to the funds the city has spent on the Thompson Hotel.

More than $54,000 was spent on pest eradication last fall, and materials were purchased to fix the roof, but the work was never completed due to the management company of the hotel putting the property up for auction. The total amount to be assessed is just over $183,000.

The Worthington City Council on Wednesday heard a presentation from the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force. Members of the task force include Murray, Nobles and Rock County Sheriff's Offices, and police departments in Adrian, Fulda, Slayton and Worthington.

The task force has six full-time agents, who work on high-level drug crimes, violent crimes and other crimes that tend to be in conjunction with drug behavior, such as burglaries. Agents also work with other departments, sharing information to build probable cause for warrants and ultimately make arrests.

The task force is also about education. They offer presentations to schools and community organizations to keep the public abreast of trends and changes in the narcotics world. They also have a downloadable app that allows people to text tips to the task force anonymously. It can be found in any app store by searching for Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force.

According to Agent Edison Dengler, in the 14 years the task force has existed they have had over 5,600 active investigations, seized 340 firearms and taken drugs off the street worth more than $3.5 million. Almost 1,800 arrests have been made, in both state and federal cases.

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