Worthington City Council takes forward step with Cemstone land swap

WORTHINGTON – The Worthington City Council on Monday took the next steps forward in making a land-swap with Cemstone, which would result in the city taking possession of the concrete company’s current location in Worthington in exchange for about 7.5 city-owned acres of land just north of Interstate 90 on Highway 59.

According to Cemstone VP/GM Ken Kuhn, their current facility in Worthington is antiquated, and if they were to rebuild, they would prefer to do it on land that takes them out of a residential neighborhood and has proximity to I-90.

Kuhn said the industry of concrete has changed over the years, and these days doesn’t create the dust of the past. The only dust, he said, comes trucks hauling loads on gravel roads. The location out on I-90 would be ideal, and after an appraisal is done, the company intends to purchase an additional acre for safety reasons. Getting the land swap situation would move the process along more quickly, and Kuhn said they hope to be moving into a new facility by late March or early April.

Building a new facility would also come with the creation of 6 to 7 new full-time jobs, primarily for truck drivers, Kuhn said.

In regard to their current facility in downtown Worthington, Cemstone will take down the plant building, but leave the shop and Quonset hut. There is the possibility that some ground remediation would be necessary when the city develops the land, but Assistant City Administrator Jason Brisson said a TIF could be established and the opportunity for green field soil remediation exists.

The council also adopted a resolution in support of a Nobles County Road improvement on CSAH 10 between Collegeway and Fox Farm Road that include turning lanes, curb and gutter and an increase in pedestrian access.

The county is working on a grant of approximately $800,000 through the Local Road improvement Program to cover the cost of the project, which the city is happy to support.

The council was also notified of the Nobles County 2021 Local Board of Appeal/Equalization meeting, which has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday, April 29.

Approval was given for advertisement of bids on the new Chautauqua Park restroom building. With the new structure comes a few changes at the park, including moving the park road over a bit, new sidewalks and upgrades to the bandshell. The all-inclusive park will stay within the footprint of the current park equipment and is slated to be installed in April. Construction of the new restrooms will hopefully begin in April, and Public Safety Director Todd Weitzema said they hope to have everything done by fall 2021.

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