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City council approves auditorium project bid

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington City Council on Monday approved the low bid of Joseph Companies in the amount of $1.64 million for the Memorial Auditorium addition and renovation project.

The base bid of Austin-based Joseph Companies was $1.57 million, and council members voted to include all five project alternates, including glass etching on the windows, decorative carpet in the addition and a glass railing for the stairs.

Council members briefly discussed eliminating the parking lot from the scope of the project and having it paved alongside the completion of other municipal projects, but City Engineer Dwayne Haffield said that likely would not save much money.

"Is there a benefit to having a completion date and having Joseph Company responsible for cleaning it all up as opposed to us having to deal with parking lot construction at a different time?" suggested councilman Lyle Ten Haken.

"We delayed the project a year, we're under budget, I'd just as soon see it open," said councilman Scott Nelson, referring to the project's delay last April when the first round of bids came in over budget.

Members of the Memorial Auditorium Renovation Committee thanked the council for its work.

"It's due diligence for everyone to ask the right questions and get the right answers," said committee member Diane Graber. "Thank you very much for you diligence and persistence."

"Worthington will be the better for this for the next 25 to 40 years," added committee member Bob Petrich.

The auditorium project is funded by the half-cent local option sales tax that was approved by voters at the Nov. 4, 2008, general election.

In other business, the council:

- Learned the Worthington Municipal Liquor Store will be closed at the time of former manager Shaun Johnson's funeral to allow employees to attend.

- Approved the 2010 Industrial Wastewater Facility Fund Budget.

- Approved a resolution expressing the city's concern with Gov. Tim Pawlenty's proposed reductions in local government aid to help balance the state's $1.2 billion deficit.

- Approved the request for proposals for a private assessing service for the city.

- Adopted an ordinance amending the Worthington City Code to permit the issuance of temporary on-sale intoxicating liquor licenses. The temporary licenses will carry a fee of $150 per day for up to a four-day limit.

- Set a public hearing for the creation of Tax Increment Financing District No. 14 for 7 p.m. April 12 at City Hall.