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Public input sought on athletic facility master plan

WORTHINGTON -- A draft of a master plan for athletic facilities in Worthington has been created, and the organizations are asking for the public's input.

"This is the second step in our process," Worthington City Administrator Craig Clark said. "This isn't anything new, this is just the second step in the process where we've come forth with a master plan that builds upon the needs assessment that was identified through the stakeholders and partners as well as the public participation."

The team -- the City of Worthington, District 518, Minnesota West Community and Technical College and the Convention and Visitors Bureau -- is asking for the public's input, much like it did last winter with the needs assessment.

"It's really just individual feedback on different sections of the master plan," Clark said. "It's really more of a comment and feedback opportunity for people to give us their opinion on the master plan."

The plan and the survey is available on the city's website (wow.cir.worthington., Minnesota West's website (wow.mnestic.edh), District 518's site, (www. and the Worthington Chamber of Commerce site (

"We had good response and good information to help us build the base for the completing the needs assessment, but also building the foundation for what carries forward in the master plan," Clark said. "We were very appreciative of the strong public involvement we had in the process. We'd like to go ahead and welcome people to participate in giving us their feedback on the master plan as well.

"We need their active participation in the final step as we bring it to at least the introductory conclusion of what we have, where we need to be and where we want to go looking forward."

The community will have the opportunity to comment until April 10. There will be a meeting with all of the joint entities at 6 p.m. April 17, at the fire station.

"We'll present the draft for their consideration and review and comment," Clark said. "After that session, we would finalize in the end of April or end of May, we would change it from a draft into a final report based on that feedback."

One of the biggest needs addressed in the plan was the need for facilities to host tournaments.

"They looked and identified the desire to have more tournament play and to coordinate facilities, kind of building on what we did with the joint tennis court project," Clark said. "We know from the outset these kinds of recreation facilities are expensive and we'd be best served in working collaboratively and jointly funding those types of facilities."

The plan does address costs, which are $4.37 to $6.65 million. Those do not include costs such as infrastructure.

"It isn't like we anticipate this is going to happen overnight," Clark said. "It's a long-term investment to limit the costs, not to run out and put a lot of projects forward tomorrow. It's really a focus on how to be more cost conscious over the long run than anything else."

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Coordinator Aaron Hagen may be reached at 376-7323.