Council approves mosquito program, field renovations

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington City Council met Monday night to discuss a number of items, including a plan to renovate Buss Field and a mosquito control program.

WORTHINGTON - The Worthington City Council met Monday night to discuss a number of items, including a plan to renovate Buss Field and a mosquito control program. 

The council authorized Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. (SEH) to draft a plan to renovate Buss Field, which is located along Sherwood Street. Plans to renovate the soccer fields were previously drafted in 2006, but never acted upon. The draft of the proposal will cost the city no more than $12,000.
Officials hope the proposal for Buss Field will be completed this fall. In the meantime, SEH will research various types of turf and will draft a plan to renovate the fields to enable natural water drainage. The field is currently bowl-shaped and subject to water collection.
The plans will include an option for three grass turf, collegiate competition-sized fields; an option for two turf fields and one artificial turf field; and a paved parking area.
“I think this is a great project for the city of Worthington,” Councilman Rod Sankey said.
“I think it’s time to get some legitimate fields,” added fellow council member Diane Graber, noting that the city has had soccer teams compete at the state level.
Also Monday, the council approved Clarke Mosquito Control Services to apply 10 mosquito-reducing applications around the city between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Pickup trucks with hoses spraying a chemical mist in the air will make three-hour rounds every two weeks. The council also approved transferring $27,500 from the reserve/undesignated account into the general fund to pay for the cost of the program.

An employee of the Illinois-based company, Rob Olson, presented to the board. Sankey was concerned residents may be allergic to the chemical in the spray.
The spray mostly consists of permethrin, a chemical also used for treating lice, Olson said. The company would spray 1.5 ounces of chemicals per acre. The formula kills mosquitoes on contact and would be inactive five to 15 minutes after its application.
If people don’t want their area sprayed, they can call the company, Olson added.
Graber said she was concerned the spray may kill butterflies. However, Olson said the spray will not harm butterflies or impact bee populations since the company will spray the chemical at dusk, when mosquitoes are most active and bees are less active.
The spray will kill other small flying insects, such as gnats. The city will have the option to extend the program in the future.
In another matter, the council also unanimously approved a funding agreement between the city and Nobles County regarding the reconstruction of Oxford Street west of McMillan Street.
In April, the city agreed to pay about $38,000 of the cost to reconstruct the road. Monday night, the county agreed to provide about $15,000 in funding, significantly reducing the city’s costs.
The council also unanimously approved of two applications for private docks on Lake Street. The new docks are the 12th and 13th private docks on the lake. The maximum number of docks allowed on the lake is 15.
In other business, the council:

  • Authorized advertisement for bids for the crack repair and seal coat project at the airport. 
  • Approved a final plat for the Worthington Community Addition, owned by the Yellow Company LLC. 
  • Approved a $300,000 loan from the city’s Small City (SCDP) account to the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership for the Grand Terrace Apartment project. The organization agreed to provide the city with administrative services to ensure the loan and project are completed in compliance with the state’s SCDP regulations and policies.
  • Approved Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and modified redevelopment plans for Grand Terrace Apartments. The building will have 48 units on 5.11 acres of land located north of Oxford Street on Grand Avenue. The company will receive 26 years of TIF financing.
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