The Worthington City Council approved Monday the hiring of Ehlers Public Finance Advisors to assist with the preparation of a long-term financial management plan for the city. Work will be done on an hourly basis for a not-to-exceed fee of $20,000, with the money to come from unallocated American Rescue Plan Act funds.
The council also approved a direct placement service agreement for the hiring of an assistant engineer. The city’s assistant engineer position became open a year ago due to a retirement and has yet to be filled despite it being advertised late in 2022, as well as an attempt to recruit via college visits. An employment company, Ektello LLC, provides an employment service to help find candidates to fill positions, and the city has been informed that it would have viable candidates available. The fee will be 20% of the current base annual salary amount offered and accepted by the candidate.
Council members approved a conditional use permit request from Ron Prins -- who owns Ron’s Repair at 2385 Minnesota 60 – that allows for an approximately 150 feet x 182 feet expansion to the existing building. The request had been tabled at a council meeting earlier this month.
The council also approved a number of public works items during its Monday meeting.
A maintenance contract between the city and Minnesota West Community & Technical College to do annual maintenance on the athletic fields on Minnesota West’s Worthington campus was approved. Fees for the services are not to exceed $15,000; the contract is essentially the same as it has been the past two years.
The council also approved plans and authorized the advertising for bids to replace roofing at the Worthington Municipal Airport. A Minnesota Department of Transportation Aeronautics grant for fiscal year 2023 has been received for replacing the roofing on the maintenance hangar and is not to exceed $250,000. This grant covers 70% of all eligible cost, with the Worthington Municipal Airport funding the remaining 30%.
Additionally, a budget amendment that would cover the cost of replacing a damaged motor for a road grader was also approved. A quote of $24,159.52 has been received. This option is being chosen in lieu of purchasing a new grader at a cost of more than $388,000.
A lone bid from Neo Electric Maintenance in the amount of $80,065 was accepted for replacement of the Runway End Identifier Lights at Worthington Municipal Airport. Also, a bid from FlowSeal Surface Maintenance in the amount of $48,716 was accepted for airport bituminous apron pavement maintenance. In the final bid award of the night, a bid of $459,526.75 from Ideal Landscapes & Design was approved for the Sunset Park Boat Landing Parking Lot Project.
Additionally, Cristina Adame was recognized for her recent service as an honorary Worthington City Council member. She has been hired by the city to fill its new community relations and communications position.
The Worthington Economic Development Authority on Monday -- prior to the city council meeting -- approved the latest façade improvement matching grant program application. This one is for Jessica Noble and her State Farm Insurance Office, located at 1244 Oxford St.
Planned work includes replacing three windows, minor repair work of the exterior and a new gable end off the front of the building. This new gable end is intended to enhance the building’s presence from Oxford Street, and the project will help make the building appear as though it is positioned toward Oxford Street. Currently, it’s obvious that one is facing the side of the building if looking at it from Oxford Street.
The total cost for the exterior work is $27,514. One bid was secured from Johnson Builders & Realty, which was also technically the applicant in this case. The applicant stated that it was the only bid submitted because the same contractor is doing an interior remodel and re-shingling work at the same time.
The subject property is eligible for a 1:2 match up to $5,000, which the EDA approved in full on Monday.
Cristina Adame with Mayor Rick von Holdt.