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City, county could partner on cold-storage facility

The city of Worthington is pursuing the possibility of purchasing land on U.S. 59 just north of Airport Road for construction of a cold-storage facility that would house impounded vehicles kept as evidence in continuing law enforcement Investigations..

The Worthington City Council, during a recent special meeting, approved a resolution authorizing the joint city-county law enforcement committee to enter negotiations with a landowner willing to sell a 30-acre tract of land.

Plans for such a building date back 15 years, Worthington City Councilman Chad Cummings noted during Monday’s council meeting. Worthington City Administrator Steve Robinson was employed at Short Elliot Hendrickson at that time as an engineer and worked on a design for such a project. The city and county, however, opted to not pursue the effort further.

Robinson said last week that given the land’s location near Prairie Justice Center, along with an interested seller, could result in the building of the cold-storage facility. Cost could hypothetically shared between the city and Nobles County – 50-50, for example – and space could be likewise shared.

Cummings reported that the cold-storage facility would hopefully house between 50 and 75 vehicles. The vehicles are now kept in a parking lot behind Prairie Justice Center, resulting in a less-than-desirable sight for PJC visitors as well as nearby residents and commuters.

The city will make its last bond payment on the PJC in February 2022, and the city is sharing costs on a backlog of building improvements that were finished recently.

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