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Council hopes for increased security, approves street projects

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington City Council considered heightened security systems in municipal buildings, discussed a rent agreement with Bountiful Baskets and awarded contracts for various street projects during its Monday evening meeting.

WORTHINGTON - The Worthington City Council considered heightened security systems in municipal buildings, discussed a rent agreement with Bountiful Baskets and awarded contracts for various street projects during its Monday evening meeting.

City staff expressed concern about the level of security in City Hall. City officials hope to install an approximately $7,000 panic alarm system that would notify staff in the building if there was a dangerous situation in any of the City Hall reception areas. The quote was provided by Midwest Alarm Systems.
Money for the project would come from the city’s Municipal Building Fund Reserves, which Public Works Director Todd Wietzema said is a collection of funds left over from past City Hall renovations. The account has a balance of almost $70,000.
The council did not approve the measure. Instead, it directed city staff to further investigate other security options, noting that other city buildings and quotes from other security companies should be included.
The alarm system proposed by city staff included silent and audible alarms for different parts of the building, and would have no future costs related to maintenance. In addition, cameras would record areas on a two-hour loop.
“We should expand the plan to include the CAL (Center for Active Living) and Memorial Auditorium,” said Councilwoman Diane Graber, explaining that those areas do not have security systems.
In another matter, the council opted to not approve a one-year agreement between the CAL and Bountiful Baskets.

According to council members, the non-profit food co-op does not pay rent on spaces used for packing and distributing products in the CAL. The current agreement expires June 25.
Councilmember Rod Sankey said it would be fair to other companies in the city to make Bountiful Baskets pay rent on the area.
Mayor Mike Kuhle said other organizations renting space from the city at the former Prairie View Golf Links building are at a disadvantage to the organization. The council directed staff to draft an agreement between the city and Bountiful Baskets to include rent.
Also, contracts for 2016 street reconstruction improvements on Darling Drive, Hagge Street and Schaap Drive were approved by the council.The city accepted the lowest bid - approximately $600,000 - which was $90,000 below estimates, said city engineer Dwayne Haffield.
The council also awarded contracts for approximately $145,000 for the Knollwood Drive and First Avenue Southwest sanitary sewer extension.
In other business, the board:

  • Hosted a public hearing for the improvement of Bioscience Drive West of County Ditch 12. The city council passed a resolution to start the construction of a sanitary sewer and water main in an L shape with the intention to later build a storm sewer and street on top of it. The project will cost $1.5 million. City officials hope to start building the road in 2018. 
  • Hosted a public hearing for a Nobles Home Initiative application for the Davis Addition on Grand Avenue, north of Oxford Street. 
  • Hosted a public hearing for a Nobles Home Initiative application for a property on Dayton Drive. The owner intends on building a single-family dwelling house that will be approximately 1,700 square feet. 
  • Approved the Nobles County Attorney’s Office’s 2017 proposed budget of approximately $800,000. It will be a 6 percent increase in the budget from 2016, and will include an opportunity for a summer lawyer and increased transcriptions. 
  • Approved the third reading of 6.5 acres owned by Allen and Kimberly Drost to be annexed into city limits.
  • Designated Mike Harmon as the official city representative to Cuero, Texas for the 2016 Turkey Fest and authorized for reimbursement of expenses.
  • Approved final plats for 1.5 acres of the Davis Addition and for Grand Terrace Apartments located on Grand Avenue north of Oxford Street.
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