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FULL STORY: Council releases RFP for new movie theater

WORTHINGTON — Who’d like to build a movie theater?

Now’s your chance. The Worthington City Council on Monday authorized the city to release a request for proposals (RFP) for a new movie theater.

As specified by the RFP, the theater must be multi-screen, show first-run movies, be open seven days a week and and be financially self-sustaining. Proposals must be submitted to the city by 5 p.m. June 29.

The city will determine the winner based on the development team’s qualifications, theater concept, business terms and the project’s financial feasibility. Proposals with substantial private backing and less need for public assistance will be given added consideration.

No site was specified for the project, and council members noted there are several locations available to accommodate a theater. City Administrator Steve Robinson he has heard from one developer that is insistent on a specific site.

Once proposals are submitted, a council committee will review the best offers and bring the top proposal to council for a vote by the second meeting in July.

The city had considered building a theater itself, but council delayed the vote when potential private investors emerged. The city’s theater proposal was a 20,000-square-foot building with six auditoriums and about 500 seats; it was located across from Fareway.

Also during the meeting, the council accepted a $111,972.27 donation from the Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation toward the new splash pad. The foundation raised $50,000 — other private donors and the community raised the rest.

Council members approved engineering plans and site work for the new splash pad at Centennial Park. The council had pushed back on Bolton & Menk’s $27,500 price tag for the work, but found the proposal was much cheaper than the alternative.

In other news, the council:

  • Approved a conditional use permit for a 7,705-square-foot expansion to American Lutheran Church. Church building chairman Mike Stoll agreed to eliminate a nearby house and driveway owned by the church and turn it into greenspace.
  • Gave its first reading of an ordinance that indicates the city’s intent to put an end its current local option sales tax, as required by the state. The city will put its replacement sales tax on the ballot this November.
  • Heard from Nobles County Attorney Kathleen Kusz. She said the county’s newly hired crime victim witness coordinator has handled 83 new cases (26 city cases) since she started in January, and asked that the city pay part of her salary. The county’s rough budget ask from the city sits at $861,818, a 3.5 percent increase over last year.
  • Appointed Marty Rickers to the Worthington Housing and Redevelopment Authority to fill the unexpired term of Royce Boehrs. The term expires Oct. 31, 2020.
  • Reapportioned special assessments for South Lake Development’s 25-unit lot on South Shore Drive.
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