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Council approves release of hospital impact funds, more

The Worthington City Council approved Monday the release of hospital impact funds designated for laboratory space at the Bio Science Training Center.


Upon the sale of the city-owned Worthington Regional Hospital to Sanford Health in 2008, the City Council committed funds to various projects identified as either "Impact" (non-refundable) or "Legacy" (refundable). One of the projects Impact funds were committed to was the build-out of a laboratory in the unfinished space at the Bio Science Training Center. The council committed $220,000 of Hospital Impact Funds to this improvement, which it moved to issue payment of on Monday,


Cambridge Technologies recently completed the laboratory project for their Research, Development and Diagnostics operations. It has invested more than $900,000 thus far and employs 12 full-time employees and two interns in this department. Wayne Freese, CEO/President of Cambridge Technologies, provided information on the project Monday night, and answer questions while also sharing plans for continued growth.


Council members also approved a resolution Monday confirming its intent to enter into a turnback agreement.


Representatives of the Minnesota Department of Transportation have proposed transferring jurisdiction of Trunk Highway 59 from Interstate 90 to Oxford Street (North Humiston Avenue), as well as from Humiston Avenue to Trunk Highway 60 (east Oxford Street) to the city of Worthington. The turnback would occur after completion of reconstruction of this segment of the roadway, which is currently scheduled for 2027.


Four roadway segment designs are currently being considered. Refinement and selection of the recommended segment will be presented to the council following public engagement events and further consultation with council and staff. The majority of the total project cost will be borne by MnDOT with the city funding an estimated share of 2% to 4%. While the resolution regarding intent was approved, it was noted that the council will consider and act on the negotiated turnback agreement at a later date.


Also Monday, council members approved the development and construction of an impound vehicle storage facility at the Prairie Justice Center, contingent on approval by the Nobles County Board of Commissioners. The Law Enforcement Center's Joint Operations Committee is in its third decade of considering development of an impounded vehicle storage facility that would both store some impounded vehicles in a secure building and place other vehicles inside a fenced area for both security and visibility. Cost of the project will be shared equally by the city and Nobles County.


Additionally, the council authorized the advertisement for quotes for demolition and site restoration of the former Lakeshore Gas Station. Staff has received approval from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to proceed with demolition and site restoration of the property. Advertisement for quotes will be published on June 21, with a deadline to submit a quote at 2 p.m. July 12. Council will review the quotes and consider approval at the July 24 meeting.

In other matters, council:


* Accepted a donation from the Early Risers Kiwanis group in the amount of $41,237.00, to be used for the purchase of a new handicapped accessible floating dock. The idea for the dock, which will placed in Chautauqua Park, had been presented to the Park and Recreation Advisory Committee at its Nov. 3, 2022, meeting and was unanimously approved.


* Approved three third readings finalizing zoning changes to city properties. The first two readings for the each of the changes were approved at the previous two city council meetings.


* Designated Mayor Rick Von Holdt on Monday as the official city representative to Cuero, Texas for 2023 Turkeyfest.


* Approved amendments to the Worthington Liquor Store Manager and Assistant Manager positions’ guidelines.


* Approved a resolution establishing June 19, 2023 as an observed holiday in recognition of Juneteenth.


Pictured: Early Risers Kiwanis check donation.

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