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City sets preliminary levy; Papa Murphy's on the way

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington City Council approved the pre-certification of a 7.32 percent tax levy increase for the 2017 budget during Monday's meeting. The proposed increase -- which would bring the total levy to $3,693,604 -- is not final. I...

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington City Council approved the pre-certification of a 7.32 percent tax levy increase for the 2017 budget during Monday’s meeting.

The proposed increase -- which would bring the total levy to $3,693,604 -- is not final. It can be lowered but not raised before certification on Dec. 12, when the council will discuss the final budget and levy. The council will hold a truth in taxation hearing at the meeting, during which public input will be heard before the budget is adopted.

“I would like to thank the staff,” Worthington Mayor Mike Kuhle said. “This thing started out at over a 19 percent increase in tax levy, and they’ve got it down to a maximum of 7.32 percent.”

In a separate matter, the council voted to authorize site preparation assistance for redevelopment of a building at 1036 Oxford St., which will be demolished and converted into a two-part, 3,225-square-foot retail facility. One of the establishments at the new building will be a Papa Murphy’s pizza franchise, with the other part of the building being open for lease if a business wants to move in.

Papa Murphy’s is a chain outlet where customers can build their own pizzas to take home and cook. There is no food ready to be eaten at the outlet.

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The developers - THK of Minnesota LLC - will be given $24,654 of assistance under the preliminary agreement in order to pay for the demolition of the existing property. The developers claim the new building will be delivering 380 percent more in taxes than the current property.

In other business, the council:

  • Approved the replacement of a sewer pipe connected to JBS Swift Co. that runs under an Interstate 90 railroad crossing.
    Director of Engineering Dwayne Haffield said the pipe was a “real concern” and should be dealt with before it fails and becomes more difficult to repair. Haffield was confident a fix could be done within budget.

  • Approved an agreement to resurface U.S. 59 with a mill and overlay for 2017.

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