Options considered for new library locationWORTHINGTON — Nobles County Commissioners on Tuesday gave SEH Engineering the go-ahead to begin work on plans for a new county library in Worthington. The hope now is that the county can partner with the City of Worthington on a joint library and senior center complex.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Nobles County Commissioners on Tuesday gave SEH Engineering the go-ahead to begin work on plans for a new county library in Worthington. The hope now is that the county can partner with the City of Worthington on a joint library and senior center complex.
While a location has not yet been decided, library board member Vernietta Hansberger presented six options identified by the library board as possible new sites for the library. The current location does not provide enough space for expansion.
Among the top two sites the library board identified was the former Central School property, located across the street from the current library building. That property, however, is the future site of the Southwestern Mental Health Center and Unity House. The second choice, said Hansberger, is city-owned property across from the fairgrounds on Stower Drive.
“It’s centrally located for parents to drop off and pick up children, and the traffic is not a problem,” Hansberger said.
Further down the list of choices is land next to Minnesota West Community and Technical College (where the garden plots were once located along Thompson Avenue); land between Dollar General and the Holiday Inn Express on Ryan’s Road; utilizing the present site; or locating to the former Campbell’s Soup property.
Hansberger said the board had concerns about each of the last four choices, ranging from availability of the land to traffic issues. The Campbell Soup property, in particular, was a concern because of its close proximity to the railroad tracks and the lake.
Commissioner Marv Zylstra said he appreciated the work the library board did in finding a suitable location for a new library, but cautioned Hansberger that the county’s search is still in the early stage.
“One thing we’re all aware of are the budgetary limitations we are facing,” said Commissioner David Benson. “I think we all realize we don’t want to drag this out either.
“In these times of significant financial stress, we need to look at partnering with other people,” he added.
Steve Robinson of SEH Engineering said an addition onto the existing building is not feasible because of parking issues.
“The site does not have adequate parking now,” Robinson said. “It’s kind of grandfathered in, but if we do an addition, we have to bring it up to code for parking.”
“I think if we’re going to do due diligence as a board, we need to look at Option Two (on Stower Drive) and partnerships — tie it in with a senior center,” said Zylstra.
SEH will use the next three to four months to work on plans.
In other action, the board:
- Approved the issuance of $10,915,000 in temporary bonds on behalf of the Lincoln-Pipestone Rural Water System for the second portion of the $17 million pipeline expansion project. In addition, a joint powers agreement was approved.
- Approved the low bid of $220,200 from Mathiowetz Construction of Sleepy Eye for the construction of a new bridge in Larkin Township. The bid was lower than the engineer’s estimate of $236,965.
Commissioner Diane Thier was concerned about a new construction date for the bridge after learning that it cannot start until after August because of the nesting swallow population, a bird that is on the endangered species list. The construction was already being delayed because of the Topeka shiner population, forcing crews to wait until after Aug. 15 to do the work.
“I think common sense has just gone out the window,” said Thier of the delay. “All this for a swallow, I think, is just ridiculous.”
- Approved a $29,304.84 payment to Salonek Construction for work done on the third floor of the Nobles County Government Center.
- Approved the low bid from ARS of Sioux Falls, S.D., to reroof the County Highway Shop in Adrian. Opting for the R-30 minimum insulation value, the project will cost $26,620.
- Approved advertising for a technician in the county’s Public Works department. Director Stephen Schnieder said one of their technicians resigned to take a position with the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
- Received a report on the Elk Creek project from Heron Lake Watershed District administrator Jan Voit. A total of 47 landowners participated in the conservation tillage program, and more than $84,000 in incentives was paid out to landowners for projects to reduce phosphorus and sediment in Elk Creek.
- Approved an application requesting $1,075 from the Resource Conservation & Development Council to establish a rain garden on land surrounding the Sunset Hospice Cottage in Worthington. Natural Resources Conservation Service District Conservationist Stephanie McLain said the Hospice Cottage is contributing $1,500 toward the estimated $3,475 cost, while the Okabena-Ocheda Watershed District will provide $900.
- Set a meeting for 1:30 p.m. June 30 to begin work on the county’s 2010 budget.
- Approved closing County State Aid Highways 1 and 14 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. July 18 for the Brewster Fun Days parade.