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Council takes action on ditch improvements, storage building and more in brief meeting

The Worthington City Council unanimously approved Monday night a professional services agreement regarding phase two of County Ditch 12 Drainage Improvements with AE2S, the civil engineering firm with which the city engaged in phase one.

Construction of Phase I drainage improvements at County Ditch 12 were completed in 2019. Improvements included upgrading the Oslo Street culvert, Oxford Street culvert and the large detention basin south of Interstate 90. That project reduced the FEMA regulatory floodplain within city limits, but portions of residential neighborhoods adjacent to CD 12 still remain within the regulatory floodplain and floodway.

The professional services agreement approved Monday will evaluate the costs and flood risk reduction of implementing additional drainage improvements. Funding for this work will come from Storm Water Utility revenue reserve. While initial alternatives have already been established by previous studies, the conceptual design, cost estimates and benefits of these alternatives have not been completed.

These proposed projects may be eligible for a grant through the FEMA Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program. The work detailed in the agreement will be performed on an hourly basis for a fee not to exceed $27,700.

Also Monday, as part of a meeting that took only around 25 minutes, the council approved a professional services agreement that will begin development of a storage building at Prairie Justice Center.

One option for the storage building -- which would house vehicles impounded, forfeited and confiscated by the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office and Worthington Police Department – would be a location on the PJC site currently owned by Nobles County. A second option is to acquire three to four acres of land on the north side of Airport Road and construct the facility in that location. One potential advantage to the site is that is not located in city limits.

Short Elliott Hendrickson Architecture will develop concept building and site design layouts and cost estimates for both options for a lump sum fee of $6,400 plus reimbursable expenses. The cost for these services will be shared equally between Nobles County and the city.

Also approved Monday were plans for a bridge replacement on Fox Farm Road. The primary purpose of the project is to remove the old bridge and install one line of 16'x 9' precast concrete box culvert. The old structure is deficient in width and is structurally obsolete.

The new structure shall have a concrete surface over the culvert for load distribution, and the bituminous road surface will be restored. The completion date for this project is Aug. 26. The estimated total cost of the project, including engineering and contingencies, is $334,230. The funding for this project will be $179,230 in state bonds and $155,000 in local funding.

Additionally, the council approved a task order providing surveying and project design services for improvements to the City Hall and former S&L Garage parking lots. The city currently has an existing engineering services master agreement with Bolton and Menk dated Sept. 14, 2020. Council members approved Task Order Number 14, which provides surveying and project design services at an estimated cost not to exceed $37,000.

The Worthington Economic Development Authority, in business prior to the start of Monday’s Worthington City Council meeting, approved payments of $10,000 apiece to Trends Salon and Mick’s Repair as part of the city’s Façade Improvement Matching Grant Program’

The EDA had approved a matching grant application submitted by Trends Salon on Sept. 13, 2021 for exterior improvements for Kris Bosma's building at 923/927 Sixth Ave. The total cost of the project was reported to be $42,167.96. Work included removing the existing wood siding and replacing it with new wood siding and stone façade, as well as replacing the existing soffit and two exterior doors. The EDA had approved the matching grant in the amount of $10,000, and city staff was in receipt of all required submittals following completion of the work.

Similarly, the EDA had approved a matching grant application submitted by Mick’s Repair on Sept. 28, 2021 for window and door improvements at 405 10th St. The work included replacement of the storefront windows on three sides of the officer and replacing the glass entrance doors. The original estimate for the proposed work was $20,832.09, and the EDA had approved a matching grant of $10,000.

Later Monday, as part of the city council meeting, a donation of $1,000 to the Worthington Police Department was unanimously approved. Tricia and Joel Mikle donated $1,000 to the WPD and encouraged staff to use the funds to best serve the department. The police department plans to put the funds toward the purchase of a less lethal device, which Worthington Director of Public Safety Troy Appel indicated Monday would be a taser, to be used in the protection of the public and officers.

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