Early Risers and WRHCF hand over donations raised for All-Inclusive Playground

WORTHINGTON – The Early Risers Kiwanis of Worthington and Jeff Rotert of the Worthington Area Health Care Foundation met with the Worthington City Council Monday and presented them with a check for just over $253,000 to go toward the All-Inclusive Playground that will begin construction this spring at Chautauqua Park.

The Kiwanis fundraising efforts – especially during a pandemic – were nothing short of spectacular, and a matching grant of $125,000 from the health care foundation doubles their efforts. The city has also pledged $100,000 toward the playground from the half cent sales tax.

The Early Risers are still selling pickets for the inside of the fencing that will surround the park on three sides. For $75, a donor can have their name printed on the post, and those funds will also go toward the park. According to Loreena Luetgers, there are still about 15 pieces of the play equipment that can be sponsored.

“We aren’t done yet!” she stated.

Rotert said this has been a very fun project to be part of, and it’s the third collaboration between the city and the foundation.

“The park system in Worthington is truly an asset to the community, and the generosity of the community continues to shine,” he said.

Anyone interested in sponsoring a piece of equipment or a picket can contact Loreena at 507-329-2652.

The city council also approved a pension adjustment for the Worthington Firefighters Relief Association – a 2 percent adjustment. When a firefighter retires after 20 years, they receive a one-time payment of just under $3,000 per each active year of service.

Sewer service charges are going up in Worthington by approximately $3 per month. The council approves the proposed 2021 charges Monday night. Worthington Public Utilities Manager Scott Hain said it is a bigger jump then what has been seen in the past, and it is driven by capital improvements.

The current wastewater facility is about 60 years old, and it have been 30 years since a major overhaul was done. In the works are plans for a new facility, estimated at about $22 million dollars. There are several methods the WPU can use to pay for the new plant, and discussion is underway to determine which is the most advantageous method.

The new pricing does not affect electric or water rates.

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Worthington, MN 56187

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