Council hears RSVP's request to locate to potential senior center

WORTHINGTON -- No official business was conducted during the Worthington City Council meeting Monday night, as the council failed to attain a quorum.

WORTHINGTON -- No official business was conducted during the Worthington City Council meeting Monday night, as the council failed to attain a quorum.

Four out of five council members are required for a quorum, and only three -- aldermen Mike Kuhle, Lyle Ten Haken and Ron Wood -- were able to attend. Mayor Alan Oberloh said Alderman Mike Woll was out of town because of a death, and Alderman Bob Petrich had been previously excused.

While no business was conducted, those in attendance heard a presentation on RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) of Southwest Minnesota, which was given by Nobles County RSVP Coordinator Joanne Bartosh.

Bartosh explained that RSVP of Southwest Minnesota was founded in 1972 in four counties. Today, there are six participating counties -- Cottonwood, Lincoln, Murray, Nobles, Redwood and Rock.

More than 1,900 volunteers, including about 350 in Nobles County, were active in RSVP in the last year. Using a federal formula, Bartosh said, RSVP volunteers gave more than $787,000 in service to Nobles County.


"Basically, we help residents stay active, or we enrich the lives of residents," she said.

RSVP volunteers are involved with numerous activities and organizations, Bartosh said, including the Nobles County Fair, Daffodil Days, the Nobles County Library Book Sale, Pioneer Village, Relay for Life, the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce and the Nobles County Integration Collaborative, among others. The Nobles County office location is in the county courthouse downtown.

Additionally, RSVP members participate in projects such as making fleece blankets and creating packs with diaper bags for babies and their families.

"We don't function under our own name many times," Bartosh said. "We just help."

Bartosh -- who was joined at the meeting by three active RSVP volunteers -- had been asked to speak to council members with regard to an RSVP location in a potential Worthington senior center. Bartosh said she saw RSVP's location in such a building as "a really good situation," adding that a work room for the group would be necessary in addition to an office.

Councilmen were receptive to RSVP being part of a hoped-for senior center.

"I think this makes a perfect addition to the senior center as an active component," Kuhle said.

The city council will next host a special meeting at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday to discuss how to proceed with further participation in the new Worthington Area YMCA facility. The business scheduled to be conducted Monday will be completed at an additional meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday.

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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