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Board sets February referendum date

Comments sought on line for Worthington's athletic facilities

Worthington City Hall (Brian Korthals/Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- People who didn't have a chance to weigh in on the sports facilities during last month's open house will have an opportunity to do just that.

For the next two weeks, community members will be able to fill out an online survey, asking for input on current and proposed facilities.

"It's an effort to follow up on the open house we had for folks who couldn't make the open house and still wanted to provide comment," Worthington Administrator Craig Clark said.

The athletic facility needs assessment is available on the city of Worthington's website under popular issues. It's also on the Worthington school district's site under news and updates, as well as the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce site.

"The questions relate to the same topics that were conducted at the open house," Clark said. "It's what we have out there for existing facilities where we are just kind of itemizing those and people can become aware of what we have now. And then ask them on what their feeling is on our current facilities and what their strength and weaknesses are so we can begin to prioritize over the long term."

The idea of the sports authority committee is to work together between the different entities to create a long-term plan.

"The focus really is to economize, work together and limit our financial exposure and limit any kind of duplication," Clark said. "At the same time, we're trying to maximize our dollars by putting them together collectively.

"What it really acknowledges is that we no longer have the luxury of doing things individually," Clark continued. "We recognize that we can't be everything to everybody, but when we have a limited budget and a prioritization of resources, it's something we need to give a lot of consideration to."

At the open house in early November, people were able to discuss trends in town and talk about the future of facilities.

"Part of the process they went through at the open house was the trends and where things are going for different programming," Clark said. "Obviously, soccer is identified as a growing area of interest for the community."

The next step will be for the committee to tabulate the results and create a long-term plan.

"The next step beyond that would be for the working group to get back together and go over the results," Clark said. "We will start getting the results back from the survey and start that prioritization discussion and kind of wrestling with the issue of do we want to move toward that sports complex model or do we want to do more of a scattered site approach?"

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Coordinator Aaron Hagen may be reached at 376-7323.