Council hears presentation on childcare development

A project manager for Community and Economic Development Associates gave a presentation Monday night to the Worthington City Council on the organization’s ongoing work regarding the potential development of childcare facilities in the area.


Community and Economic Development Associates works with cities, counties, organizations and small businesses in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin to help them be proactive and strategic about their development aspirations. Joshua Schuetz told council members that his organization is taking a three-fold approach to addressing Worthington and the area’s childcare needs by:


* Examining multiple ways to expand childcare capacity

* Looking at ways to support current childcare providers via the potential establishment of a new childcare fund

* Exploring community education initiatives to make it known that everyone deserves childcare access, and everyone needs to know about available resources.


Schuetz said ongoing efforts will include making contact with JBS and other businesses, the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce and additional entities to discuss challenges, strengths, if there are facilities that may already be useful for childcare, and if there are already people here who are interested in being providers in the future.


Schuetz added that Community and Economic Development Associates plans to meet and work with First Children’s Finance, a national nonprofit organization that addresses the business and finance needs of childcare. First Children’s Finance aims to build the financial sustainability of childcare entrepreneurs, partner with communities to preserve and grow their childcare supply, and influence state and federal systems to provide supports and investments needed to sustain childcare businesses.


Schuetz said work is in the early stages at this time.


In another matter Monday, the scheduled consideration of a loan to the Community Asset Development Group that would help in the construction of a 49-unit residential apartment building was tabled. Mayor Pro Tem Chad Cummings, acting as mayor in the absence of Mayor Mike Kuhle, noted that more time and work was needed on the matter.


Also, council members approved acquisition of a hydraulic mobile stage during its Monday evening meeting.


The council had previously authorized staff to solicit quotes for a hydraulic mobile stage unit that may be utilized by various groups for a number of community events throughout the year including the Regatta, Beach Bash, International Festival and Turkey Day. Council members approved funding for the stage from the city’s 2022 American Recovery Plan Act allocation of $715,744.


A request for quotes was issued on July 6 and Progressive Products Inc. of Pittsburgh, Kansas was the sole responder. Their price for a 32-foot wide x 24-foot deep x 17-foot high mobile hydraulic stage is $213,800. In addition, there is an estimated cost for delivery and on-site training of $6,000. The total cost is $219,800; staff’s estimate for the mobile stage was $220,000.


Also Monday, council approved the purchase of lighting and rigging equipment for Memorial Auditorium. Staff at the auditorium had requested multiple items to be purchased to complement the current equipment to enhance performances and events at the facility.


The equipment was available for purchase from the Luverne School District. It was purchased recently by the school for use in its previous performing arts auditorium but was not utilized in its new facility. The agreed-upon price was $12,000; approximate value of the equipment is $25,000. Funding will come from the City Reserve Account.


The city council also approved the second of three required readings of a text amendment to city code regarding uses of certain properties in the city’s B-2 Central Business District. Under the proposed change, parking lots, parking, terminals and cleaning would be uses permitted by conditional use permit only in the B-2 Central Business District.


In an engineering-related matter, council members approved a petition for reapportionment of water main assessments in the Bio Science Industrial Park Second Addition. The unpaid balances of the special assessments are $1,224.33.



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