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City council approves assessment resolutions

Dozens of city residents filled the Worthington City Hall council chambers as the Worthington City Council hosted a series of assessment hearings Monday night.

Four resolutions were ultimately approved by the council following the hearings. They were for the following assessments:

* 2023 miscellaneous unpaid charges (removal of ice and snow, and removal of noxious weed and vegetation), 5.5%, one year

* Paving improvement No. 119: 2022 bituminous pavement improvements, 5.5%, 15 years

* Paving improvement No. 116: Cherrywood Lane (the entire length), 5.5%, 15 years

* Paving Improvement No. 118: Homewood Hills, 5.5%, 15 years

No action was ultimately taken on a resolution regarding assessments for storm sewer improvement No. 32: Cherrywood Addition.

During the meeting, two of the several city residents in attendance addressed the council. One, Jim Laffrenzen, inquired about a handicap ramp for fellow residents in his Homewood Hills neighborhood. The request is one of multiple priorities that have been cited as needed additions and repairs to be made in the wake of what many have deemed to be less than satisfactory work on the Homewood Hills paving project. City staff replied that the ramp should be installed in the spring of 2024.

Another resident, Andy Johnson, spoke of the Cherrywood Lane improvements, explaining that the design of the cul-de-sac there has resulted in him paying what he said were “hundreds of extra dollars” for snow removal. He also talked about stormwater issues in the Cherrywood Addition, adding that he has been working with city staff with regard to both matters.

In another matter Monday, council members unanimously denied an appeal of a variance decision made last week by the Worthington Planning Commission. A variance application had been submitted by JB Brooke Properties for property located at 1260 27th St. The applicant had sought approval of a variance to allow for a staircase and landing to extend 3 feet 8 inches into the required 10-foot side setback. That denial decision was based primarily on their belief that the property was not unique based on the state’s three-factor test for practical difficulties.

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