Council on public art requestWORTHINGTON — The Worthington City Council on Monday referred a request to display community art projects to the parks and recreation board. Gail Holinka addressed council members on behalf of the AOK Club and Comprehensive Arts Planning Program, asking them to consider a way in which community-created works of art — like three murals painted at the Regatta and King Turkey Day events — could be publicly displayed.
WORTHINGTON — The Worthington City Council on Monday referred a request to display community art projects to the parks and recreation board.
Gail Holinka addressed council members on behalf of the AOK Club and Comprehensive Arts Planning Program, asking them to consider a way in which community-created works of art — like three murals painted at the Regatta and King Turkey Day events — could be publicly displayed.
Holinka gave a history of the mural project, recalling how the AOK Club secured a grant and brought in mural artists from South Dakota for the project.
“We have made projects of excellent quality that are aesthetically pleasing to the community,” she said. “Community members participating in past projects have loved the wonderful opportunities given to them, and they’re excited to see the projects in public spaces.”
Her students brainstormed places to display the massive murals — which depict a turtle, windsurfer and turkey — suggesting such locations as the pump house on Sailboard Beach, the north wall of the Beach Nook, the park shelter house or the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce. For now, the artwork has been coated with water-resistant sealant and is in temporary storage.
Council members expressed concern about whether the project would weather the elements or cause damage to the structure on which it was mounted.
“My concern is they’re not going to make it in this weather,” said Mayor Alan Oberloh. “If it only lasts two or three years, it kind of defeats the purpose.”
“A lot of the buildings we chose to consider are out of direct wind and sunlight,” Holinka responded. “(The mural artists) said the one’s they’ve put up have really fared well, so it’s worth a try.”
She suggested a public arts commission could be formed to establish guidelines for public display of artwork in the city.
“There’s been a lot of effort put in by members of the community, and I think it’s worthy of the parks board’s consideration,” said Alderman Mike Kuhle.
Prior to Monday’s regular meeting, the council met in special session as the city’s Economic Development Authority to approve a request by Richard Pederson to acquire EDA property.
Pederson, the former owner of Southwest Sales, asked to purchase a 50,000-square-foot parcel on Stower Drive for the relocation of his building from its current location on Nobles County 5. The sale price would be $27,500, with about $20,000 being financed through a forgivable loan to protect the city’s interest. The approximately 1.14-acre property is part of a larger tract of land the EDA acquired form Prairie Holdings in 2004.
In other business Monday, the council:
* Heard an update on the Southwest Initiative Foundation’s activities from Garrett Backes of the foundation. SWIF is entering its 25th anniversary year, and will host celebrations in its 18 member counties. The Nobles County celebration is set for Nov. 17 at the Worthington Country Club.
* Adopted a proposed ordinance to change the annual storm water utility rate for residential property to $219 per acre.
* Authorized the sale of $1.16 million in general obligation sales tax revenue bonds for the costs of the Memorial Auditorium and Performing Arts Center renovation and addition, to be paid with future sales tax collections.
* Authorized execution of agreement between the city of Worthington and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The agreement allows for local law enforcement’s continued access to the state’s Criminal Justice Data Network and other services.
* Approved reconstruction of Collegeway with inclusion of a bike path.
* Adopted the 2011 Sewer Service Charge System. Combined changes in connection and usage charges and in interest earnings have resulted in changes ranging from a $0.93 (4.3 percent) decrease for a 2,000- gallons-per-month user to a 5.6 percent increase for high volume non-industrial users.