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Council approves 2022 levy, new TIF district

The Worthington City Council approved resolutions adopting the 2021 tax levies collectible in 2022 during its regular meeting Monday evening.

The council followed the recommendation of city staff and approved the final levy in the amount of $5,681,145, a 12.44% increase over last year. That compares to a proposed property tax levy approved by council members back in September that represented a 17.08% increase in the levy.

Worthington City Administrator Steve Robinson gave a brief truth-in-taxation presentation, during which he indicated that operational expenditures for local option sales tax amenities such as the new field house and aquatics center account for $253,900 in newly budgeted expenses in 2022. This accounts for 5% of the levy increase. There is also a 4.3% increase coming in increases and salaries and benefits over 2021, he added.

No public comment was made during Robinson’s presentation.

In a separate matter, the council -– following a public hearing and passage of a resolution by the Economic Development Authority –- approved the establishment of a tax increment financing district for Sherwood and Lake streets.

The city is working on a property exchange involving two parcels of Cemstone-owned land along Sherwood Street and an equal number of acres of city-owned land in the North Industrial Park. The deal will allow Cemstone to expand its facilities and create a new opportunity for commercial development at the current Cemstone site.

The TIF district, which will have a maximum of 26 years of tax increment and a $5 million cap, will assist with reimbursement of the city’s expenses incurred with the land swap. It also includes three parcels located at a former gas station site at 106 Lake St.

Additionally, a resolution ordering improvement and preparation of plans and specifications for the planned Eighth Avenue street reconstruction project was approved following a public hearing and project presentation by Todd Winter of Bolton and Menk.

In further business Monday night, council members approved the terms of a new Law Enforcement Labor Services #4 contract for 2022 through 2024 during its Monday evening meeting.

The current contract for LELS #4 -- which represents non-supervisor patrol officers, detectives and dispatchers -- expires on Dec. 31, 2021. City and Worthington Public Utilities management staff participated in one in-person negotiating session with LELS #4 representatives and reached a tentative agreement for a three-year contract with a 3.5% cost-of-living adjustment effective Jan. 1, 2022, a 3.5% cost-of-living adjustment effective Jan. 1, 2023, and a 3.5% cost-of-living adjustment effective Jan. 1, 2024, among multiple other terms.

Also approved was the third and last required reading of an ordinance that changes the zone of property located north of Bioscience Drive and east of Humiston Avenue from its current Transition Zone District to “PUD 7” – Planned Unit Development #7. The change brings the property located at the approximate addresses of 1525-1526 Bioscience Drive under one common zoning district.

Additionally, the council approved a resolution accepting $22,695.43 in American Rescue Plan Act funds and authorizing city staff, Mayor Mike Kuhle and the city attorney to make recommendations for future expenditures that may be reimbursed with those funds.

In other matters, the council approved:

  • A 2022 management fee paid by the city to the Worthington Area YMCA in the amount of $58,400, a 5.02% increase over 2021, to paid in 12 monthly installments. The city contracts with the YMCA to promote, manage and operate the city's summer youth recreation programs for its residents.

  • The 2022 Olson Campground rates and the 2022 park user fees. There will no change to the 2022 Olson Park Campground fees and minor changes to park user fees.

  • A conditional use permit for the Light of the World Church to operate a church in the existing building located at 1521 Oxford St.

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