City council takes first step for Public Art CommissionWORTHINGTON — Worthington City Council members Monday night approved the first reading of a proposed ordinance that would establish a public arts commission.
WORTHINGTON — Worthington City Council members Monday night approved the first reading of a proposed ordinance that would establish a public arts commission.
The Art Optimist Kiwanis (AOK) Club received a $2,000 grant in 2011 to develop an ordinance for a public arts commission.
The grant was submitted by Gail Holinka and Mindy Kuhl.
The commission would promote opportunities for public art, identify funding sources for projects, determine locations for art in public buildings and spaces, ensure maintenance and proper disposal of art work, and conduct public hearings for projects.
With the establishment of the commission, the city would be able to receive dollars from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage fund without specific annual appropriations.
Alderman Lyle Ten Haken asked if the commission would anticipate grant funding or require additional funding from the city.
“We’re not looking for the city to fund it or for it to be the main source of funding,” Holinka said, adding the commission will primarily depend on grant money from various sources. “We want it to be community-driven, and we want public input.”
Mayor Alan Oberloh added several amendments will be made to the proposed ordinance prior to the second reading.
In other news, city council members:
* Approved a recommendation of the redistricting plan for the Nobles County Board of Commissioners. Brad Chapulis, the city’s director of community/economic development, explained that of the five plans presented by the Nobles County Auditor Sharon Balster, plans two through five would call for three commissioners to serve within the city of Worthington. The remaining two commissioners will be divided among the rest of the county with various alternatives.
Council members recommended plans three and four. Redistricting plans are available on www.dglobe.com.
* Approved the public safety plan developed by the Worthington Police Department and Worthington Fire Department as identified by the city in its 2009 strategic plan. The public safety plan is the first of its kind – incorporating values, impediments and goals produced by all members of the department.
* Approved the updated job description of a school resource officer as part of the selection process for a new officer. Police officer and current school resource officer Bob Fritz will be retiring at the end of May.
* Approved a lease agreement for Pleasant Park that encompasses a portion of the park that the city leases from Worthington School District 518.
In addition, council members approved the athletic facilities use agreement with the school district. The agreement allows the district to use the softball-youth baseball diamonds in Centennial Park for the varsity softball program, and for the city to use to school’s track facilities for its summer youth track program.
* Approved summer youth recreation program fees. The city has an agreement with the Worthington Area YMCA for the organization to be responsible for all costs related to the summer programs and, in turn, to receive the revenue generated.
* Adopted a park donation policy as presented by the Park Advisory Board. The policy, as recommended by The League of Minnesota Cities, states the city will establish standards and procedures for installation and care of donated park improvements.
* Approved a workforce housing program amendment that will increase the maximum sale price from $150,000 to $237,031. The council adopted the workforce housing program in 2008 to stimulate home ownership for individuals or families with income that do not exceed 80 percent of the area median income in the boundaries of the TIF District 7. The city did not receive any applications because of the low, $150,000 sale-price ceiling.
Daily Globe Reporter Ana Anthony can be reached at 376-7321.