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Council OKs land requests

WORTHINGTON -- During Monday night's meeting at City Hall Council Chambers, the Worthington City Council approved a McDonald's USA request for a preliminary plat titled McDonald's Addition.

The plat, a proposed two-lot planned commercial subdivision, is comprised of slightly more than three acres of land near the intersection of Ray Drive and Humiston Avenue.

After hosting a public hearing on the matter last week, the Worthington Planning Commission recommended council approval, provided that McDonald's removes the Ray Drive right-of-way from the plat because it's already deeded to the city.

Also, the company must record the deed for the former Minnesota Department of Transportation right-of-way along Humiston Avenue.

McDonald's plans to use the first lot that its restaurant is located on, while the second lot will be marketed for sale.

Land Annexation Approved

With an expansion in the land outline, the council approved the first reading of Ridley USA's petition to annex 6,509 square feet of land next to its Ridley Block plant located on Nobles County 35 in Lorain Township. Ridley is building a structure there on land just shy of city limits, but would like to hook onto the city's sewer and water system.

After discussing the options and hearing from concerned landowner Steve Jeppesen, council members extended the property outline to make a larger portion connect to the city's system.

They agreed with Jeppesen that extending the line would be a "common sense" solution.

"All (Ridley) wanted to annex was the building," Jeppesen said. "Now, (Ridley must) annex the area outside of the building."

Jeppesen's main concern was water runoff from the company's property onto his.

If that occurs, he said, it will now be under city regulation.

The Planning Commission hosted a public hearing on the matter and recommended the annexation to include the entire development and border the public right-of-way.

The company didn't want to include the extra acreage for financial reasons.

"I agree with the way council did it," Jeppesen said. "It's a commercial property, and it makes sense to have it in the city limits."

Jeppesen added he has no problem with the company, and said it has been a good neighbor through the years.

In other news, council:

* Approved an amendment to the parking lease between Southwestern Mental Health Center, Historic Worthington and the City of Worthington. The original lease started in 2009 to regulate the terms of a shared parking lot near the intersection of Fourth Avenue and 13th Street.

* Approved the Memorial Auditorium Advisory Board's request to purchase new sound equipment totaling $1,935. The funds will come from the Florence Vance Trust.

* Appointed election judges to govern the Nov. 6 General Election.

* Approved an amendment to the contract the city has with WCL Associates, which is providing architectural services for the Worthington Event Center project. The fees involve changes to the audio and visual design, because it won't be as complex as originally thought.

* Discussed the possibility of allowing the event center to be named after a business, in return for compensation. It was noted this must happen before Dec. 1, so as to stay on track with marketing deadlines.

Councilman Lyle Ten Haken said despite the money the city might receive, he would like Worthington to stay in the name to reflect those who paid taxes to help fund the center.

Daily Globe Reporter Kayla Strayer may be reached at 376-7322.