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Crailsheim bridge sculpture's home: Chautauqua Park

WORTHINGTON -- After gathering public comment and numerous letters, the Worthington City Council Monday night voted unanimously to place the Crailsheim bridge sculpture in Chautauqua Park, the site originally identified by the city's public arts ...

WORTHINGTON - After gathering public comment and numerous letters, the Worthington City Council Monday night voted unanimously to place the Crailsheim bridge sculpture in Chautauqua Park, the site originally identified by the city’s public arts commission and approved by its park commission.
The $28,500 project will include the construction of the sculpture - identical to one already in place in Worthington’s sister city - as well as landscaping in the form of a compass. Work is anticipated to begin on the project soon, with an unveiling slated for early August, when a contingent from Crailsheim, Germany, visits the community.
Mayor Mike Kuhle said there are “somewhat passionate views” on both sides of the issue regarding location. Some individuals had requested the city consider putting the sculpture instead on Sailboard Beach, where it would be more visible to the public.
“The important part is that we move forward on this monument - it’s truly part of Worthington’s history,” Kuhle said.
Councilman Scott Nelson was in favor of the location at Chautauqua Park, noting that the sculpture might take up too much space on Sailboard Beach, which is home to Worthington’s annual Windsurfing Regatta.
“We’ve had two committees look at this project and they’ve decided (Chautauqua Park) is an ideal place,” Councilman Rod Sankey said. “They’ve done the work, and I’ll support their suggestion.”
One of the letters received by the city suggested the sculpture be placed on Sailboard Beach, in the spot where an existing public art piece is displayed.
“No public art has ever been torn down to make room for another one,” said Councilwoman Diane Graber. “There was a public process for that artwork that is there now and that artwork should be honored.”
Worthington resident Lon Lien, who serves on the Worthington-Crailsheim International Committee, said Chautauqua Park is a fitting place. He spoke of additional plans for plaques to recognize students who were a part of the exchange program, as well as information about the sister city relationship.
Gail Holinka, a member of the city’s public arts commission, said she appreciated all of the comments and thanked the city council for their efforts.
In other action, the council:
* Approved the Taxiway C crack repair and seal coat project at the municipal airport. The total project cost is estimated at $166,021, with the city’s share to be approximately $8,300 after state and federal aid.
* Approved the preliminary plat for a proposed Davis Addition, to be located at the intersection of Darling Drive and the new Grand Avenue extension. Larry Davis purchased property from the American Reformed Church and plans to work with investors to construct six homes on the parcel.
* Tabled a request from the Worthington High School golf program to use the driving and chipping ranges at the former Prairie View Golf Links, if needed.
The school was offered access to the GreatLife golf course after the initial request came to the city. Council members expressed several concerns, ranging from liability to grounds maintenance, and the message it might send to the general public since the course is closed and the clubhouse will not be open.
* Authorized MVTV Wireless, a member-owned cooperative, to provide a mobile hotspot for Internet services on mobile devices in Olson Park Campground. There is no cost to the city for this service, with the exception of the cost to run electricity at the equivalent of a 100-watt lightbulb. MVTV Wireless has 11 fixed wireless hotspots already in place and provides maintenance on all of them.
* Approved the following appointments: Thi Sinavone to a three-year term on the Planning Commission, replacing Chad Nixon; Ryan Weber to a three-year term on the Planning Commission, replacing Kelly Meyer; Amy Ernst to a vacated term on the Planning Commission, replacing Ethan Bates, to expire March 31, 2019; Brenda Hurlbut to fill the unexpired term of Soom Chandaswang on the Public Arts Commission, to expire Oct. 31, 2017; Pamela Lowry to fill the unexpired term of Alice Hoffman on the Public Arts Commission, to expire Oct. 31, 2018; and Lyle Ten Haken to a three-year term on the Water & Light Commission, replacing Randy Thompson.
* Heard a presentation from Nobles County Community Services and University of Minnesota Extension regarding plans to develop a community garden on a tax-forfeited parcel along Eighth Avenue in Worthington. There will be a kickoff meeting April 27, and there will be a trial run of the garden this year because it hasn’t been tilled. Estimating there will be 15 lots on the property.
* Approved a request from the Worthington Windsurfing Regatta for a $1,000 sponsorship for the 2016 event. This is the same level sponsorship the city funded in 2014 and 2015.
* Approved a request for a $2,500 sponsorship for the Worthington Bio Conference April 7-8. The sponsorship will be paid with carry forward monies from previous EDA levies.
* Approved the 2016 Beach Nook contract with Pat Arnt.
* Approved a three-year fire agreement between Worthington Township and the city of Worthington.
* Approved fees for YMCA’s summer programs, including a 14-week Fun and Adventure Day camp and summer sports programs.
* Set 7 p.m., March 28, for a public hearing on proposed improvements (street reconstructions) on Darling Drive, Hagge Street and Schaap Drive.
* Set 7 p.m. May 9 for a public hearing to consider the creation of TIF District 17 to support development of the Grand Terrace Apartments.

 

Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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