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Woll, Ten Haken thanked for years of service at city council meeting

Worthington City Hall (Brian Korthals/Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- At the first regular city council meeting of the new year, Worthington Mayor Alan Oberloh thanked outgoing council members Mike Woll and Lyle Ten Haken for their years of service.

"Gentleman, it's truly been a pleasure working with the both of you," Oberloh said. "Lyle, I worked with you my whole time. You were the one that's served the longest, and I didn't know we'd get to the day that you'd be leaving before I did. But I really do appreciate all the efforts you put into working on behalf of the city of Worthington and its citizens. You poured your all into it, and it really shows."

Ten Haken had served on the council for 12 years before stepping aside.

Woll served for eight years and decided not to run for another term.

"Mike, your involvement with committees that nobody wanted necessarily, -- the committees that had fire behind them and controversy -- and you always accepted those and stuck with them and represented the city well," Oberloh said. "For that, I really appreciate it. You, too, are another one that I didn't think would be leaving before I left this seat. With your youth and excitement, I truly am going to miss that at city council."

Oberloh then presented both with a plaque to commemorate their experience.

"I didn't have any expectation as to how long I would sit in the chair," Ten Haken said. "But 12 years was a long time, and I appreciated the opportunity the citizens given me to represent them. I hope I did well by those elections and I wish the new council people I long, happy and prosperous seat in your chairs."

Woll echoed the same sentiment.

"I want to thank the community to voice in on ideas, it's certainly been an honor," Woll said. "I also thank the people who provided support as we pushed for certain things, particularly the people we don't get to thank a lot of times, like the staff."

The council then welcomed new members Diane Graber and Rod Sankey, who began their terms with Monday night's meeting.

One of the first orders of business was to elect a new mayor pro tem, which was a position Ten Haken had served in previously. The mayor pro tem acts in the absence of the mayor.

On a 3-2 vote, council member Ron Wood was elected over Mike Kuhle.

"The most important thing is that either Mike or myself would have been equally available to back up when the mayor would be out of town," Wood said following the meeting. "I think we both worked hard at making sure we work for the city and I think I'm pleased I'm mayor pro tem, but I think Mike would have been as equally as good mayor pro tem."

Wood also commended the two new council members.

"I thought we had two good, new council people and we lost two great ones, so I think we have two people who will work hard to continue to move the city down a positive path," he said.

The council also discussed a lease agreement with C & B Operations, LLC for the implement dealership to use the city-owned water tower property for storage of various machinery and equipment. An agreement was previously made with Worthington Power and Equipment, and the council voted to approve the lease to continue once C & B Operations purchased Worthington Power and Equipment.

The council also approved the contract renewal for welfare fraud investigative services between the Worthington Police Department and Nobles County Community Services.

An addendum was added to the agenda on Monday night, where the performance evaluation of City Administrator Craig Clark was discussed. It was shared he had a favorable review.

Director of Engineering Dwayne Haffield brought forward a request to rename the road known as TH 50/60. The council approved Flower Lane to be extended and West and East Gateway Drive as the new names for the road.

Also approved was the special use permit for Minnesota West Community and Technical College for the use of the former fire station.

Brad Chapulis, Director of Community and Economic Development, brought to the council the Minnesota City Participation Program, which is offered through the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency. The program is seeking applicants for below market interest rate home mortgage loans for low to moderate income first-time home buyers purchasing homes within awarded communities.

Oberloh noticed other entities -- particularly counties -- are awarded more funds than Worthington currently receives. Oberloh suggested it's something that could be worked on with the county.

"Let's not miss the boat on something. If it had Nobles County on it, Worthington is not unique in having a need for lower income housing," he said.

Kuhle agreed.

"It would be a good partnership," he said.

Daily Globe Community Content Coordinator Aaron Hagen may be reached at 376-7323.