WORTHINGTON - City council members are ready to begin the W.E.L.L. project and willing to participate in renovations of the Hotel Thompson, they agreed during a Wednesday afternoon work session.
The W.E.L.L. project between the city, Nobles County and Independent School District 518 has been in the works for a number of years. The proposed building would span 83,800 square feet and include space for all three entities in various capacities.
“We believe in collaboration. We believe in the project,” said Mayor Mike Kuhle.
Kuhle expressed concern is that “the city is getting overextended” and said he’d like to see the county and the school district take the lead on the project, with some involvement from the city.
Council members were in general agreement with Kuhle’s assessment.
Regarding the Hotel Thompson, city council members heard from Jorge Lopez, a representative of developer APX Construction Group of Mankato. APX has signed a purchase agreement with receiver Lighthouse Management Group that is conditional on securing financial aid from the city.
Lopez explained that APX is asking for tax increment financing, gap lending and the site behind the Thompson to be used for a parking structure.
City council members agreed that they were open to offering all of those benefits, but couldn’t come to an agreement about whether or not to replace the roof.
The discussions about the WELL project and the Thompson did not result in action. The council will vote during its regular meeting on June 24.
For more of this story, see Saturday's print edition and dglobe.com.