The Worthington City Council, following a brief closed section on Monday night, authorized city staff to prepare a purchase agreement to acquire the Butcher property – the former Lakeshore Gas Station located across from Lake Okabena – at a verbally agreed-upon price of $380,000.
Worthington City Administrator Steve Robinson explained that the property is comprised of three separate parcels. At this point, he said, the city’s plan is to clear the sire and convert it into greenspace. There are no plans at this time for future development of the property, and Robinson said that the city wasn’t acquiring the property with the intent that it would make it open for private development.
Robinson added that future possibilities include expanding the bike and walking trials as a result of modifications of that intersection.
The city council also approved moving forward with the planned Amelia Earhart Sculpture project in a separate order of business.
The Worthington Community Image Committee publicly announced the Amelia Earhart Sculpture project to the council on May 19. Earhart was known to have spent time in Worthington when she was younger and has been mentioned in numerous Worthington historical writings.
The city’s Public Art Commission's Policies and Procedures mandates a period for public review and 30-day comment period for any public art projects. City staff has not received any comments regarding this project.
The proposed location of the sculpture will be on Sailboard Beach. City staff has worked with the committee to ensure that the location does not interfere with the use of the park property.
Total cost for the project is $44,000.00. All fundraising for the project will be undertaken by the Community Image Committee; no city tax dollars will be used toward the project.
Also Monday, the council approved an agreement for the city to perform water mitigation services at the Center for Active Living.
Robinson noted that portions of the walls and flooring in both racquetball courts at the CAL were damaged recently by water intrusion resulting from roof leakage. A League of Minnesota Cities claims adjuster reviewed the damage and mitigation proposal submitted by Service Master Recovery Management. The proposed scope of work includes: removing and disposing of all moisture-impacted building materials from the ceiling, walls and floors; using air dryers to remove moisture from the air and remaining materials; and applying anti-microbial spray to wall cavities, studs and ceiling joists.
The work will be performed on a time and material basis for an estimated cost of $79,406.28. This work is covered under the City's LMCIT insurance subject to the deductible.
Council members also heard a request from the Worthington Hockey Association for the city to take over management duties at the Worthington Ice Arena from the association, a volunteer organization that built the facility and has managed the facility and hockey program for more than 30 years. Council members agreed to move forward in answering multiple questions and ultimately working toward an agreement that would result in the management change.
Additionally, the council approved a proposal from Midwest Alarm to furnish video surveillance systems for improved security within the City Hall facility. A total of 10 cameras would be added at the entrance locations, hallways and exterior. The video system has a proposed cost of $30,317.06.
In other business, the council approved the donation to the city of an Eighth Avenue vacant lot from Greg Gruber, the parcel’s owner. Gruber acquired the parcel from Nobles County via a tax forfeiture auction, but later learned of development restrictions due to the presence of city utilities and associated easements after acquisition.
Council members, as well, approved a resolution regarding the appointment of election judges for the Aug. 9 state primary election, as well as their designated polling precincts. The resolution also authorizing the City Clerk to appoint additional or alternate election judges should the need arise for the primary election after a July 15 deadline.