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Council OK's permit for work at old Runnings site

The Worthington City Council on Monday approved of a conditional use permit that will bring a Les Schwab Tires Centers location to Worthington.

The existing building at the North Humiston Avenue site, once home to Runnings, will be torn down and replaced with a new facility. The CUP includes multiple conditions: the permit applicant obtain approval from the Minnesota Department of Transportation for change in access from the frontage road; a “bullpen” structure where used tires will be stored temporarily shall be built with masonry block or similar material and must not be see-through; and vegetative screening must be established along the rear/east side of the property.

It was noted Monday that Les Schwab Tires Centers is headquartered in Oregon, has more than 450 locations and is quickly expanding eastward. The new business will take up about half of the former Runnings site, as the remaining portion will remain under current ownership.

Also during Monday's meeting, Worthington Police Department officers Ivan Martinez and Ernesto Rivera Mercado took their respective oaths of office.

Martinez was born in Sioux City, where he lived with his family until he was 11 years old. His family then moved to Worthington where he graduated from the Worthington High School in 2019. After high school, he attended and graduated from Minnesota West, in 2021, with a degree in law enforcement. He started with the WPD in March.

Mercado grew up in Puerto Rico, where he graduated from high school in 2015. He attended Puerto Rico’s Carivab and graduated in 2018 with certification in aircraft mechanics. He worked briefly as an aircraft mechanic until he traveled to Worthington in 2018 because of a family emergency. While in Worthington, Hurricane Maria destroy much of Puerto Rico, including his family’s property. As a result, Mercado decided to stay in Worthington, where he attended and graduated from Minnesota West, in 2021, with a degree in law enforcement. He started with the WPD in March.

Additionally, council members approved donations of $1,000 and $500 from Walmart and New City Buffet, respectively, to the Worthington Police Department.

The council -- following a public hearing of approximately 10 minutes -- also approved the city’s storm water prevention plan as presented by City Engineer Stephen Schnieder. The city conducts an annual public meeting to allow comment on this plan to satisfy the public involvement and participation control requirement that’s part of required statewide permit.

In other business:

* Council members accepted Duininck Inc.’s low bid of $797,246 for construction of sanitary sewer and water main on North Humiston Avenue from Oxford Street North to Ryan’s Road. The engineer's estimate for the work was $972,835.

* The council awarded a quote of $58,950 from Neinkerk Companies for demolition of the former Lakeside Service Station. Other quotes were received from Ideal Landscaping ($64,050) and Henning Construction ($64,445). The request for quotes included unit prices for work that may occur in excess of estimated quantities for: excavation and disposal of excess soil; excavation, removal and disposal of contaminated soil, furnishing and placing of additional fill material; furnishing and placing of additional topsoil; and furnishing and installation of additional turf restoration.

* The council also discussed a potential text amendment of city code pertaining to motorized golf carts. Some council members advocate allowing more expansive use; city staff was directed to further research and work toward presenting new language to council.


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