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Event center project moves forward

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington City Council authorized Mayor Alan Oberloh to execute two professional service contracts for the event center project during its regular Monday meeting.

The contracts encompass architectural services by WCL Associates of St. Louis Park and construction management services by Consolidated Construction Company Inc., based in Appleton, Wis.

The council entered into a memorandum of understanding with Lexington Hotel Development Group of Greendale, Wis., during its Nov. 14 meeting. City staff had previously advised council members to contract with the same professional services as Lexington.

Jim Paris of Consolidated Construction reassured Oberloh the city would not have to invest in hiring a city representative.

"What (we) do is act as your agent," Paris said.

Consolidated Construction Company will solely provide management services, which include advising the city staff on schematic design and design phases, preparing and adjusting cost estimates and timelines, and managing construction activities.

The cost of contracting with Consolidated Construction is estimated at $180,000.

"Everything will be legally advertised and publicly bid," Paris added.

Alderman Lyle Ten Haken asked Paris to explain the company's method of making bidding prints available to local contractors.

"In today's electronic age we have a number of tools that we use," Paris said. "We have web-based services to make all the documents available to them, and we will still run hard copy if that's what they like."

The architectural services that will be provided to the city include schematic design, design development, construction documentation, bidding and construction.

"I'm hoping to exceed all your community expectations," said Dave Clark, a representative from WCL Associates. "We want to be able to meet with a committee to go over programming of the kinds of events, the number of people, the food, the process ... and build a program for that facility."

The estimated cost for the architectural services is $96,800.

"If all the stars align, we're hoping to get the spade in the ground by June 28," said Brad Chapulis, the city's director of economic/community development.

In other business, council:

* Approved a $1,500 sponsorship to Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp. for the 2012 Bioscience Conference scheduled for March 29-30.

* Approved a Request for Proposals (RFP) from the Sports Authority. During the Jan. 6 regular city council meeting, council members authorized the city's participation a development of a needs assessment and master plan for public sporting facilities. Proposals will be accepted until March 9.

* Approved an agreement with the Worthington Area YMCA to promote, manage and operate the city's summer youth recreation programs for 2012. The city is expected to save $13,847 through the agreement. Changes to the agreement include: YMCA will be responsible for all expenditures associated with the programs and will receive all revenue derived from the programs; the adult softball program will not be offered this year; and the management fee for this year will be $42,415, to be paid in 11 equal payments.

* Tabled a text amendment request from B&J Oil Company. The request to amend Title XV, Section 155 of City Code would allow petroleum bulk stations as a permitted or conditional land use in the "B-3" - general business zoning district. The city's planning commission had determined that approval of the application would conflict with the city's comprehensive plan and that petroleum bulk stations do not fit the purpose and intent of a general business zoning district.

* Approved a preliminary plat request from Prairie Ventures L.L.C. to replace Prairie Holdings Subdivision which is located southeast of the intersection of Prairie Drive and U.S. 59.

* Approved amendment to the Small Cities Development Program (SCDP) policy -- a grant the city adopted in 2008 and is currently administering home rehabilitation in the east addition and Cherry Point Park neighborhoods. The original policy did not include flood plains as the target area, but recent amendments to the federal and state SCDP policy has allowed grant money to be spent outside of the target area after the first 18 months of the grant period.