City making strides with strategic planWORTHINGTON — The Worthington City Council approved a strategic plan in January 2010, which identified various priorities the city should concentrate on.
WORTHINGTON — The Worthington City Council approved a strategic plan in January 2010, which identified various priorities the city should concentrate on.
A compilation of ideas from citizen groups and city council established overall direction and roles for council members and city staff.
Almost two years later City Administrator Craig Clark said the city has made progress in several projects while others are well on its way.
“We didn’t do a strategic plan to put it on a shelf and let it collect dust,” he said.
As Worthington’s senior center has moved several times — from the building where Tacos Lupe is now located, to the former West Elementary and to one-time MC Fitness, the council decided it was time to find a permanent location for the center and thus identified the project in the strategic plan.
The city has since purchased the former Worthington YMCA building.
The plan was to demolish part of the building, include a 2,880-square-foot addition along with a new parking lot, but retain the 1980 gym.
Clark explained because overall bids received were over-budget, the city has taken a step backward to complete the project piecemeal.
With the new approach, the city received bids for demolition, environmental remediation and site preparation last month.
Bidding results will be discussed at the next council meeting on Nov. 14.
Clark is hopeful the long-awaited new fire station will be completed by the end of 2012. Groundbreaking for the fire hall — which took place early last month — marked the beginning of redevelopment of the former Campbell Soup plant into a larger space for fire fighters.
At 19,800 square feet, the facility will include a regional training area to accommodate an emergency operation center, observation tower, kitchen, office space and lockers for firefighters.
Biotechnology Advancement Center
The BAC which housed its first tenant — Worthington Regional Extension Center — last week, will have an official opening ceremony Dec. 9, Clark said.
As part of the Worthington Regional Economic Development Corporation’s effort to concentrate educational entities at the BAC, the center will include research and classroom space.
U.S. 59 North infrastructure project
A grant of $3.4 million which the city received earlier this year from Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and Minnesota Department of Transportation will boost infrastructure development along Highway 59 North.
“It (redevelopment) will provide acceleration and deceleration lanes and an initial push into the Commercial/Industrial Park,” Clark explained.
The total cost of the project is $4.72 million, with the city’s contribution at $1.32 million. Work is slated to begin in 2012.
Public safety ARMER conversion
Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response (ARMER) is a state-wide radio system developed to provide enhanced communication and interoperability for public safety providers. The transition plan which encompasses Nobles County and the city of Worthington is scheduled to be completed by July 2012.