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County scraps Campbell's site

Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Nobles County Library will remain where it's at for now. Commissioners decided Tuesday not to continue looking at the former Campbell's Soup site.

WORTHINGTON -- Nobles County Commissioners on Tuesday took a definitive step in pursuit of a new library in Worthington. They will not work with the City of Worthington to develop the former Campbell Soup property and will send notification of their decision to the city.

Commissioners were quick to say they are still interested in working with the city on potential collaborations, but reiterated some of their concerns about the site along Second Avenue -- mostly its close proximity to the railroad and the city's idea to partner on a fire hall/library structure.

"We want to work with the city, but that site just is not going to work out," said board chairman Marv Zylstra.

A letter sent to commissioners from the Nobles County Library Board encouraged them to consider the former municipal swimming pool site as a possible location for a new library. While there were some initial concerns expressed regarding enough space at the site, board members said they would consider the option.

In a separate discussion, Commissioner Diane Thier met with library personnel and the Adrian City Council Monday regarding the potential to move the Adrian library branch to a different location. There is a building on Maine Avenue that would provide adequate space and allow for the library to do additional programming.

"I said it was a shame that the two biggest towns in the county don't have a decent senior center," said Thier, referring to Worthington and Adrian.

With the existing library building in good shape -- it's just too small to function easily as a library -- Thier suggested the county building could be used as a senior center and coffee nook.

"I know this is not a good time for us to be bringing these things up, but we have a building available right next door," said Thier.

She told commissioners the City of Adrian will look into the idea further.

In other action, the board:

- Approved the relocation of a bridge over County Ditch 6 south of Worthington due to the Minnesota 60 four-lane expansion project. The new bridge, consisting of two large box culverts, will be located approximately 300 feet to 400 feet south of the existing culvert. The culverts will be installed in the summer of 2011 or 2012.

- Approved a resolution authorizing $800,000 in general obligation supplemental bonds for Lincoln-Pipestone Rural Water to continue its expansion project in Nobles County. In addition, commissioners authorized LPRW to seek applications for $8.5 million in Build America Bonds. LPRW CEO Dennis Healy said a regular water supply from Osceola Rural Water should start coming into the system in the next couple of weeks.

- Approved a resolution accepting $192,244 in bridge bonding money for replacement of a Seward Township bridge. The township will be responsible for any costs in excess of the grant amount.

- Received an update on the County Ditch 2 clean-out project. Seven bids were received, with Nienkerk Construction of Worthington submitting the low bid on the project. Work is anticipated to begin in the next couple of weeks.

- Approved the advertisement of bids for the replacement of a Seward Township bridge with precast concrete culverts. Bid opening will be Sept. 20, with construction anticipated in late October or early November.

- Accepted four agreements with MnDOT for bridge replacement projects in Nobles County. General obligation bonds of $452,651.37 will be used to fund the projects.

- Received an update on the bridge replacement project on Nobles County 11 north of Ellsworth. The contractor awarded the project expects to get to the project by the second or third week of September.

- Discussed the process for conducting redetermination of benefits on the county's ditch systems. Nobles County Public Works director Stephen Schnieder presented information from Jackson County on the process for redetermining costs and benefits to landowners. Commissioners directed him to contact a Redwood Falls firm that did work in Jackson County to get more information.

- Approved a resolution seeking grant dollars for the Nobles County Sheriff's Office Safe & Sober program.

- Approved a request to replace two full-time jailers at the Prairie Justice Center following a couple of resignations.

- Approved a contract with the State of Minnesota for two grants awarded to Nobles County for the ARMER radio system. The county will receive $135,000 for infrastructure and $40,000 for subscriber radios for the new system.

- Approved a third quarter appropriation of $7,239 for RSVP.

- Was introduced to Nicole Names, the new director of the Family Service Agency for Nobles and Pipestone counties.

- Approved the purchase of a new copier for the Nobles County Family Service Agency, at a cost of $11,486. The copier was scheduled to be replaced this year.

- Appointed Commissioner Vern Leistico and Administrator Mel Ruppert to a subcommittee that will work on a Joint Powers Agreement for the Public Safety Answering Point system.

- Approved the appointment of Julie Buntjer to the Nobles County Extension Committee.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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