Council continues ‘Y’ discussionWORTHINGTON — The Worthington City Council continued to discuss possible reuse of the former Worthington Area YMCA on Monday, noting the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership’s interest in the project.
By: Laura Grevas, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The Worthington City Council continued to discuss possible reuse of the former Worthington Area YMCA on Monday, noting the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership’s interest in the project.
The group may work with council and interested tenants in purchasing the building; retaining the newer gym and racquetball courts and demolishing the remainder of the structure.
“I think it’s a nice opportunity we could take advantage of,” said Alderman Mike Woll.
Council members agreed taking an active role in demolition and development of the property would be beneficial for downtown.
“It’d be my hope that once the oldest part was removed, that someone in the general public would see it as ‘Wow, that’s quite a building,’” said Mayor Alan Oberloh.
Alderman Lyle Ten Haken agreed, saying “We’re not in the business of buying up dilapidated properties, but I would be in favor of assisting in bringing it up to an accessible standard (for other tenants).”
YMCA Executive Director Andy Johnson said the gymnasium floor and north wall, which was repaired five years ago, were still in good condition, while the roof may need some upkeep. As members decided to get the partnership more involved, Johnson said he and the YMCA staff would also be interested in facilitating the transition to an occupied building.
Prior to its regular meeting, the council met in special session as the city’s Economic Development Authority and authorized a special 2010 tax levy of $86,000.
In other business, the council on Monday:
- Hosted a public hearing regarding a tax abatement request from WJTF Investments L.L.C. (Guidepoint Pharmacy) for proposed redevelopment of property at 607 and 609 10th St. Approved the abatement up to a maximum of $13,500.
- Received an update from Sanford Regional Hospital Worthington Chief Executive Officer Lynn Olson. He reviewed accomplishments of the past year, including the implementation of joint meetings with
Sanford Clinic representatives; electronic health records; and increased tuition reimbursement for health care providers.
- Approved the proposed property tax levy in the amount of nearly $2.7 million for 2010, a 2.9 percent increase over 2009.
- Approved the 2010 budget in the amount of $20.3 million.
- Appointed Gary Hoffmann to fill Scott Bradley’s unexpired term on the Water and Light Commission.
- Adopted an ordinance regarding storm water utility rates. Effective Jan. 1, 2010, the annual fee per residential acre will be $212.
- Received a presentation about efforts to send World War II veterans from Rock, Nobles, Pipestone and Murray counties on the Southwest Honor Flight to visit the war memorial in Washington, D.C.
- Approved the Utility Department’s strategic financial plan for 2010. Notably, the electric budget saw an increase of 11 percent, or about $1.5 million, due to an increase in wholesale power and transmission costs charged by the city’s providers. This will increase residential electric rates by about $9 per month. Water and wastewater rates should remain roughly the same.
- Approved the search for professional services for initial improvements of the U.S. 59 North industrial park; including development of turn lanes, installation of culverts and County Ditch 12 relocation. Also approved evaluation of a quiet zone at the 12th Street and Flower Lane railroad crossings; the $5,000 study by TKDA will be financed through the construction fund.
- Authorized a contract with Hospitality Consulting Group to perform an events center feasibility study. The $25,000 study will be funded by the local option half-cent sales tax.
- Authorized the 2010 Minnesota City Participation Program application for below-market interest rate home mortgage loans for first-time homebuyers in the community.
- Authorized a forbearance agreement against ReiTech Corporation of Burnsville. The company has an outstanding balance of about $93,000 with the city.