Council discusses subdivision, Prairie View Golf LinksWORTHINGTON — The Worthington City Council approved the rezoning of land on Eleanor Street, allowing the creation of a 14-lot residential subdivision, during its Tuesday night meeting.
By: Aaron Hagen, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The Worthington City Council approved the rezoning of land on Eleanor Street, allowing the creation of a 14-lot residential subdivision, during its Tuesday night meeting.
Through the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership, a 4.52- acre subdivision was approved to become a low-density residential district. The intention is to build single-family homes on each of the 14 lots.
“The layout really fills out the development nicely,” said Councilman Mike Woll, who then asked, “Are they anticipating a rapid build out?”
Brad Chapulis, Worthington’s Director of Community/Economic Development, replied the hope was construction would take place in 2013.
In other business, the council approved the agreement with Dakota Golf Management for the clubhouse operations for Prairie View Golf Links.
Tom Jansa, President of Dakota Golf Management, answered questions in regard to last year’s numbers.
He estimated the membership was down 45 to 50 this season, but the overall total number of rounds played was within 400 to 500 of last year's total.
“We were doing quite well, and then the heat came,” Jansa said. “When the heat came and the drought came, that kind of put the brakes on. A good start always helps, but we’re still a Memorial Day to Labor Day where you’re bread and butter is for your daily play and regular play. There were days where it was just vacant.”
The council reviewed the rates for the 2013 season, which were mostly unchanged from a year ago. One change was in the Prairie Card program, which would increase $10.
Members asked about the reduced rate offered before Jan. 1, which is a 15 percent discount.
“It’s a way to lock members in for the year,” said Jansa, who estimated 60 to 70 percent of golfers purchase their membership before the first of the year. “It’s a way to get revenue in when you’re not getting any.”
Councilman Mike Kuhle suggested the city look at raising the rates.
“We still lose a fair amount of money on this,” Kuhle said. “We need to keep going up with that rate structure. We’re less than half of what the country club is. To be good to the taxpayers, we need to look at raising the rates.”
“I think the golf advisory board as well as Mr. Jansa is better at setting that level than we are,” Councilman Lyle Ten Haken said.
Councilman Ron Wood moved to approve the rates, with the exception of daily rates.
In other business, the council:
* Read through the 2013 legislative priorities, many of which were proposed by the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities.
“The economic recovery plan will be looked at more than ever,” Mayor Alan Oberloh said. “The power in the legislature will be changing and I think there will be an opportunity. I see a great deal of importance.”
Listed among the priorities are an intern tax credit program and new employees job training program tax credit. Also listed was the city of Worthington and Nobles County working together to migrate to the ARMER system and trail development within the city.
* Heard the first reading by City Engineer Dwayne Haffield on a utility rate increase of $22,255 for 2013. To help cover those costs, the proposal is to raise the rate by 3.95 percent.
* Named Julia Berger honorary council member for November, December and January.
* Approved $5,000 to Jim Nelsen Landscaping for improvement to landscaping around Memorial Auditorium to resolve ongoing erosion and drainage issues. The council approved the money from the Jim and Florence Vance Trust as donation to the auditorium.
* Approved the following appointments: Carl Nagel to golf advisory board; Mara Jirelle and Julie Nystrom to Memorial Auditorium Advisory Board; Darlene Macklin to nominating committee; Mary Thompson, Beth Habicht, Gail Holinka, Kelly Henkels, Scott Kraft and Antonio Madrigal to Public Arts Commission.
* Denied a request by Ten Haken for reimbursement for a gift to a representative of Cuero, Texas.