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City council approves Prairie View management

WORTHINGTON — Dakota Golf Management was approved to continue to manage Prairie View Golf Links by the Worthington city council during Monday night’s regular meeting.

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With Mayor Alan Oberloh and council member Scott Nelson both absent, Dakota Golf was approved for a two-year agreement on a 3-1 vote. Council member Mike Kuhle voted against.

The meeting lasted more than two hours on Monday as a public hearing on assessments and unpaid charges dominated the first part of the meeting and a presentation on flood mitigation took nearly an hour.

At the beginning of the meeting, council member Ron Wood, who was acting at the mayor, welcomed Jerry Eykyn as the honorary council member.

The hearing had no public participation and was approved by the council unanimously. The assessment added $1,048.47 for sanitary sewer improvement to Living Life Adult Day Care Center, LLC. A total of $2,347.63 was approved in unpaid charges for eight properties. Four different bituminous pavement improvements were also approved. Two alleys, Sherwood Street/Franklin Street and Trevor Street had a total cost of $319,892.53. A sanitary sewer improvement for Morning View Second Addition was also approved for $7,406.47.

Also in engineering, the city approved $25,792 for Clean Water Partnership projects as well as $5,601.92 for the city’s share of a bridge replacement on Read Avenue.        

Much of the meeting was spent listening to a presentation by Bill Douglass from Bolton and Menk.

He had prepared a proposed flood mitigation master plan.

Within that plan, the flood plain within the city of Worthington would shrink to almost nonexistent.

“I think we all need to understand this because sometime in the near future, it’s an issue that we’re going to have to look at how we’re going to fund it because we’ve been ignoring the flooding for three or four decades,” Wood said. “Probably with all the growth, we have less land we could fill with water.”

Within the plan, Douglass said there are five steps to his proposed plan.

The first part of the plan is an 11-acre pond by Wal-Mart. After that, the current culvert at East Oxford Street would be replaced with a 10 foot by 10 foot box culvert. On McMillan Street, a block-long box culvert would be added. The channel would be widened from McMillan and optional pond storage would be added.

In total, the improvements would be a little more than $6 million.

“The order of improvements are very important,” Douglass said. “You need to create the pond at Wal-Mart before you pull the plug at any of the other places.”

No action was taken on the matter, but something the council will consider at a later meeting.

In other action, the council approved Dakota Golf Management and the rates for next golf season at Prairie View Golf Links. The rates for next season are increasing, but those are very small differences.

Dakota Golf has already been running the course for three years. This time, the contract has a two-year term. The advantage of approving the contract earlier, Wood said, is that the company will have the opportunity to begin marketing earlier in the year.

“I still would like to see, before we approve anything, where we came out this year,” Kuhle said.

“That won’t be until early January or February,” Wood said.

Wood said to give PVGL a fair shot, the contract needs to be approved sooner.

“We always do this to Prairie View and we always put them behind,” he said. “The agreement does have an exclusion clause to get out of the contract if that’s something we choose to do.”