City council approves land sale

WORTHINGTON -- The sale of 11.27 acres of city-owned land was made official Monday night as the Worthington City Council -- acting in the capacity of the Worthington Economic Development Authority -- approved the land's sale to B & R Ventures...

WORTHINGTON -- The sale of 11.27 acres of city-owned land was made official Monday night as the Worthington City Council -- acting in the capacity of the Worthington Economic Development Authority -- approved the land's sale to B & R Ventures in the amount of $112,700.

The sale of the land, which was made on a contract for deed over 20 years at 6 percent interest, will make construction of a new 36,000-square-foot Bedford Technology manufacturing facility on the site. Bedford will need to comply with a number of terms and conditions, including those pertaining to job creation and business operations.

The land sold by the city is part of a roughly 84-acre tract purchased by the City of Worthington last year from Joel Lorenz for redevelopment purposes. An agreement approved by the council earlier this month allows Lorenz to lease the undeveloped land from the city for farming.

In a related matter, the city council approved -- following a public hearing -- to approve a revolving loan of $300,000 to assist in the construction of the new facility, to be located at 1180 27th St. The new Bedford Technology building will house the company's plastic raw materials, shredding machines and mixers for its plastic lumber division and represents the first of three phases that will result in relocation of the entire Bedford Technology operation.

Approval of the loan was given with several conditions, including: a minimum of 10 percent owner's equity be injected into the project; the City of Worthington share third position on the real estate lien and first position on the equipment lien with Nobles County; the loan shall be at 1 percent interest for 10 years and adjusted thereafter based on the 30-year treasury note (the interest rate to be capped at 6 percent); and 15 full-time-equivalent jobs with a wage not less than $10 per hour be created by Dec. 31, 2009.


The total cost of phase 1, or construction of the new facility, is estimated at $2,046,504. The city's $300,000 revolving loan constitutes 15 percent of that total.

In another matter Monday, council members unanimously approved the installation of a rain garden within Vogt Park following a presentation by Steve Woltjer of Nobles County Soil and Water Conservation. The city will be responsible for use of labor and equipment costs.

Woltjer explained that rain gardens are installed in areas prone to surface runoff near parking lots, streets or driveways. Vogt Park was chosen, he said, because a gully has formed in the parking lot and was channeling runoff to Lake Okabena. Using dirt extracted from the garden, a berm will be constructed that will direct water from the parking lot to the garden.

Schaap Sanitation will donate humus and mulch, and native prairie grasses will be planted in the park, with their cost expected to be covered through grants from several organizations.

"It sounds like a great project," councilman Mike Kuhle said.

In other business, the council:

* Heard from Brad Chapulis, the city's manager of planning and economic development, that the City of Worthington had been notified earlier Monday of its approval for a Small Cities Development Grant.

The grant application, which was coordinated through Worthington and also included the municipalities of Round Lake and Wilmont, will allow rehabilitation of residential properties within Worthington's Cherry Point Park and East Addition. The grant was approved in the amount of $609,800, which Chapulis said was slightly less than the amount sought in the application.


* Approved the awarding of a bid for 27th Street sewer, water and initial road improvements to Randy Kramer Excavating, Watkins, for the amount of about $420,000. City Engineer Dwayne Haffield said the project had received seven bids, and the four low bids were well below the engineer's estimate.

* Passed a resolution receiving reports and ordering a public hearing on proposed 2008 street reconstruction and surfacing improvements.

Streets in the proposal are: 13th Street (Clary Street to 450 feet north); Pleasant Avenue (South Shore Drive to First Avenue S.W.), Spring Avenue (Service Road to Cecilee Street) and Woodcrest Avenue (the entire length). The public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. April 14.

Ryan McGaughey arrived in Worthington in April 2001 as sports editor of The Daily Globe, and first joined Forum Communications Co. upon his hiring as a sports reporter at The Dickinson (North Dakota) Press in November 1998. McGaughey became news editor in Worthington in November 2002 and editor in August 2006.
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