City approves land giveaway plan
WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington City Council voted Thursday to use a state-subsidized "Webinar" to market a giveaway of land in the BioScience Park.
"We need to do something that will generate another building and another company in the area," said Alderman Ron Wood of the strategy.
Also signaling approval of the "Webinar," or Web-based seminar, were Worthington Light and Power and Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp.
The park, which is located north of Interstate 90 and to the east of U.S. 59, is jointly owned by the city, Worthington Public Utilities, Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp. and Nobles County.
Many of the council members pointed out that the vote simply signaled a change in marketing strategy, saying the city had lost prospective businesses to other communities in the past and could use the Webinar to attract a wider base of potential buyers.
Regulations state the land must be used by a company in the field of biological sciences, and the firm hosting the Webinar has guaranteed an audience of 100 participants from such companies.
Presenting via the Internet will be a number of experts in the field, including Dale Wahlstrom, the CEO of BioBusness Alliance of Minnesota.
"This could be Dale saying 'Here's a way to showcase Worthington,'" said Greg Raymo, vice chair of WREDC.
Also presenting will be Eric Wieben, director of the Mayo Clinic Genomics Research Center; Gunda Georg, head of the department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Minnesota and Mike McBride, Senior Director of Industry Relations at Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc.