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City council approves licenses for new restaurant

WORTHINGTON — A new restaurant received its on sale beer, wine and liquor licenses from the city council during its regular meeting Monday night.

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The Venetian Steakhouse, located at 1635 Oxford Street —at the former Godfather’s Pizza location in the Northland Mall — received all three licenses on a unanimous vote. David Engler requested the licenses.

Following the meeting, Engler received congratulations from various city officials and said he hoped the restaurant would be ready to open by mid-December.

The meeting opened with a public hearing regarding the grant received to rehabilitate Nobles Square. The city received a $350,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) on behalf of the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership for the purchase and renovation of the apartments.

Jorge Lopez, Construction Manager for the housing partnership, said the total cost for the project was just less than $4 million. That allowed the 48 units to undergo construction.

“We installed new siding, metal roofing and updated the parking lot,” Lopez said. “We had some water issues there so we took care of that.”

Lopez said there is more security, including cameras throughout the property to ensure it is taken care of after the new improvements. He also said was a focus on efficiencies for water and energy.

“We upgraded the kitchen and flooring,” Lopez said. “It wasn’t a total gut, but we were able to do a lot with the money we were able to put into it.”

The council approved a proposed ordinance vacating part of an easement in Summit Avenue for the property owner to construct a detached garage up to the minimum setback required by the zoning ordinance.

Kris Hohensee, Center for Active Living Director, gave an update on things going on at the CAL.

She provided a list of programs to the council.

“It’s a pretty impressive list of programs you have,” council member Mike Kuhle said.

Hohensee said she is working with groups like the Nobles County Library, Sanford, Minnesota West and the University of Minnesota Extension Office, to name a few.

“I’m trying to collaborate with a lot of different entities throughout the town to bring in some things that would be of interest to the members,” she said.

Since she began in July, Hohensee said she has brought in approximately 35 new members.

The council approved the 2014 sewer service charges, which were recommended by the Water and light Commission. The usage charge will decrease by $.79 for non-industrial users.

“I’m glad to hear our bills are going down instead of going up, even if it is $0.79. I’m glad to see that,” council member Rod Sankey said.