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FULL STORY: Council approves money for Worthington Cemetery

WORTHINGTON -- After a lengthy discussion, the Worthington City Council on Monday approved a one-time $5,000 appropriation to the Worthington Cemetery Association.

WORTHINGTON - After a lengthy discussion, the Worthington City Council on Monday approved a one-time $5,000 appropriation to the Worthington Cemetery Association.

 

The money will be given under two conditions - that the city finds it’s legally able to give such a donation and that the cemetery association, city and Nobles County create a committee to identify a long-term solution to the cemetery’s money issues.

 

Assuming the city appropriation goes through, Nobles County’s $5,000 appropriation - approved during last Tuesday’s Nobles County Board of Commissioners meeting - will now move forward, as it was contingent on the city’s match.

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The county board had approved another $5,000 for the cemetery, contingent on the city doing the same, but the council opted not to do so.

 

Council members Alan Oberloh and Chad Cummings expressed concern that the cemetery board had not identified ways to overcome their funding shortfalls, and would thus come back to the city for more money in the near future.  

 

Oberloh insisted he be part of a committee consisting of cemetery board, city council and county board members to discuss a long-term financial plan for the cemetery.

 

In a separate matter, council members approved a purchase agreement for a tract of land located near Ryan’s Road that is needed for the County Ditch 12 flood mitigation project.

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Oberloh was the only councilperson to vote against the motion, arguing that the price of the property - which was not disclosed - was too high.

If the city opted to not approve the agreement, it would move on to eminent domain proceedings, said Dwayne Haffield, city engineer. Councilman Larry Janssen said the city would likely be forced to pay a high price for the property if it opted to use eminent domain, on top of additional legal fees.

Also during the meeting, Cummings announced the Worthington Noon Kiwanis Club has raised $50,000 for a new splash pad, and more money is still coming in.

In other news, council:

 

  • Approved plans and bids for water and sewer extensions to West Gateway Drive near Minnesota 60 and Nobles County 57; the service will go to a new gas station and travel plaza expected to be done this year. The city will receive bids on March 22 and consider them for award at the March 26 council meeting.
  • Increased the fee for private docks on public property from $150 to $165.
  • Approved a new two-year agreement with International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 49er's. The deal includes cost of living increases of 3 percent in 2018 and 2019. The workers will withdraw from city insurance and go onto 49er insurance, and summer hours for public works employees will commence on the first Monday in May and end on the third Friday in October.
  • Approved a $5,000 contract with Patricia Arnt to maintain the Beach Nook this year.
  • Approved an agreement with the Worthington Girls Softball Association for exclusive use of the Centennial Park Softball fields for all games and practices.
  • Approved 2018 YMCA Summer Program Fees. Day camp fees have increased by 3 percent.
  • Appointed Marcy LaVelle to the Center for Active Living Committee to a three-year term.
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