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School district votes on retention pond

WORTHINGTON -- The regional storm water retention pond project being built on the Worthington campus of Minnesota West Community and Technical College got a $10,000 boost from Independent School District 518 Tuesday night.

The Worthington school district's board voted 4-0 -- member Joel Lorenz was not in attendance -- to fund the pond, which will be located on the south side of the Minnesota West campus. The pond will be regional in nature, collecting storm water runoff from points to the north and west of campus.

Nobles County and the city of Worthington had previously approved contributions to the project. Minnesota West has committed $100,000 to the pond, and additional funding has come from the Olson Trust and Okabena-Ocheda Watershed District. The $10,000 approved by the school board Tuesday was the amount requested by the community college.

"Part of this is being a good partner with the rest of the community," board member Steve Schnieder said. "It's good to be involved in these community-wide projects, and it's important to protect one of Worthington's greatest assets, the lake."

In another financial matter, the board approved the removal of an underground fuel tank at Worthington High School and the purchase of a new, above-ground fuel tank at a total cost of approximately $25,000.

"Over the last three years, we've had nothing but problems with the underground fuel tank," District 518 Superintendent John Landgaard told the board prior to its unanimous approval of the the action. "We could do this this fall yet and have it ready."

In additional business, the board:

* Authorized the district's Operations Committee to interview as many as all three firms that have submitted RFPs (request for proposal) to be hired as facilities consultant. Duties would entail completing a comprehensive review of options related to facilities space within the district.

The Operations Committee will ultimately make a recommendation to Langaard, who will then have authorization to do the hiring. Landgaard estimated the cost of a consultant at between $6,000 and $20,000, depending on the services contractually provided.

* Approved the creation of a new warning track at the Worthington Middle School baseball field. Total cost of the project is estimated at between $2,000 and $2,200.

A warning track is the part of a baseball field closest to the wall or fence and is typically made of dirt. A change from grass to dirt serves as a "warning" for fielders trying to make a deep catch that they are running out of room.

* Approved a commitment of $1,500 to the Comprehensive Arts Planning Program, which provides music, visual arts and dance opportunities to students. The amount is an increase from the $1,000 appropriated last year.

Ryan McGaughey

I first joined the Daily Globe in April 2001 as sports editor. I later became the news editor in November 2002, and the managing editor in August 2006. I'm originally from New York State, and am married with two children.

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