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Council approves two Thompson measures

New commercial marina also gets nod

City of Worthington
Worthington City Hall (Brian Korthals/Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON — Actions connected to the renovations at Hotel Thompson were taken during Monday night’s Worthington City Council meeting, as elected officials approved a tax increment financing plan for the project and resolved to have the city buy back roofing materials that won’t be used by the developer.

Acting as the city’s Economic Development Authority, council members created a new TIF district for the Hotel Thompson property. Clark Unlimited Properties, operated by Worthington natives Robert Buysse and Mitch Clark, signed the purchase agreement for the historic — and blighted — downtown structure last September.

“We’re just passing a resolution as an EDA that we’re in support of establishing a district,” Assistant City Administrator/Director of Economic Development Jason Brisson explained before the vote. The TIF, he added, will be formally considered by the council following a public meeting on the matter, which could take place Feb. 10.

Total estimated tax increment revenues for the district are slated at $4,473,519, according to figures Brisson shared with council members. The TIF would begin with the tax year payable 2022 and terminate after 2047, or when the TIF plan is satisfied.

The proposal for TIF includes a proposal to facilitate the redevelopment of the Thompson with 39 units of rental housing on the second and third levels, with commercial space in the basement and first level. Council member Alan Oberloh questioned the accuracy of the 39 units, and asked if the TIF language, as written, was “getting ahead of the game” in that the Thompson project would be bound to that number as a result. Brisson expressed confidence the figure could be amended as needed.

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Ultimately, a motion on the Hotel Thompson TIF passed unanimously.

In a separate Thompson item, council members approved the acquisition of roofing materials from Clark Unlimited Properties in the amount of $82,840. City Administrator Steve Robinson said Clark is going with its own contractor, “and they aren’t certified to install the city’s type of roofing material.” He also indicated that the repurchased roofing could be used for the public works building and city’s new field house facility under renovation along Second Avenue.

The city’s assent to buy back the roofing, however, comes with a caveat. The city’s outstanding assessment of $183,035.70 was included in the closing costs for the Thompson, and included in the assessments was $82,840 for the roofing materials. As a result, Robinson said, that money “isn’t on hand .. and is with the county,” and that he was unsure when the city would see those dollars.

While Clark Unlimited Properties requested immediate payment for the roofing, council members were reluctant to issue the payment until it received the $82,840 back from the county. They voted to buy back the materials, but not pay until the money had been returned. Robinson said he would approach the county about doing so as soon as possible.

In other business Monday, the council approved a five-year, annual-option agreement with Lake Shore Marina LLC to install a dock system adjacent to its property at 515 S. Shore Dr.

The dock system will consist of slips that can be rented out to private individuals who want to keep their boats on Lake Okabena. Dave Janssen, who spoke on behalf of Lake Shore Marina Monday night, said there will be a gate with steps to get to the dock, as a ramp will not work due to the site’s elevation. The venture will begin with eight rental slips and expand from there.

Oberloh made the motion for a five-year, annual-option plan, which has a rate of $500 per year. He stressed the importance of making sure Lake Shore Marina wasn’t abandoned by a potential future council.

The agreement passed unanimously, with councilman Larry Janssen recusing himself.

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In other business, the council:

  • Resolved to accept a National Fitness Campaign grant on behalf of Minnesota West Community & Technical College. The city acted as the sponsor of the $30,000 grant.

  • Authorized replacement of the fire hall meeting room projector system at a cost of $4,182.

  • Approved an $8,762.51 change order for The Beach Nook, shifting the total contract amount for the project to $469,222.01.

  • Voted to allow an unlimited number of private docks on public property — with owners who currently have valid dock permits having first option on renewal for the following year — at annual fee of $175. The action erases a previous city limit of available docks (15), and raises the fee by $10.

  • Accepted a donation of $20,000 to the city by the Lake Okabena Improvement Association. The money will go toward the purchase of water recreation equipment that will be rented at the new Beach Nook.

“That’s a great donation, a huge donation,” Mayor Mike Kuhle said. “I think it’s going to go over really well out there.”

Related Topics: GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
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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