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Full story: City council pulls out of PBK movie theater project

WORTHINGTON — The Worthington City Council on Monday opted to cease working with developer PBK Investments on its proposed movie theater project.

Council members moved to return earnest money the company gave the city when the two parties signed their first purchase agreement for the 1.1-acre property, located off of U.S. 59 and Bioscience Drive, in January 2016. Councilman Alan Oberloh requested the action be added to the agenda before the meeting started.

Oberloh’s motion requested that the city give PBK $4,500 of its $5,000 earnest stake, referencing a section of the original agreement that says $500 will be retained by the seller for the cost incurred by preparing documents and recording a quitclaim deed. Without much discussion, council members unanimously approved the motion.

Multiple council members agreed Dec. 31 was the deadline for PBK to purchase the property.

PBK owner Brian Pellowski last week expressed frustration with working with the city and acknowledged the two parties had several disagreements in which neither side would budge. He suggested the city could formally end negotiations by returning PBK’s earnest money.

He also said, however, that the city would still have to deal with the fact that he has a lien on the city-owned property. Though the prospect for a PBK-developed movie theater is virtually gone, it’s highly possible the city hasn’t seen the end of Pellowski just yet.

Also during the meeting, the council approved a final plat for 10 residential lots to be located near the intersection of Oxford Street and Crailsheim Drive, along the east side of GreatLIFE Worthington. The project, titled Six Fairway View, is led by GL Development MN and Thomas Walsh.

The council also authorized a work study agreement between the Worthington Police Department (WPD) and Minnesota West Community and Technical College in which a college student works with Community Services Officer Myra Onnen during the course of their study.

Council then approved a $1,500 donation from Quality Refrigerated Services to WPD to help the department purchase items for its Blue in the School program, such as books, pencils and other items that will be given to students and teachers.

In a separate motion, council members authorized the use of eminent domain for three small parcels of land located in city limits. The city is anticipating a federal grant for the second phase of the County Ditch 12 flood mitigation project, in which it will install multiple culverts.

The city worked out deals to purchase five tracts of land it needed for the project, but three tracts remain unsettled and must be owned by the city to get the grant. No buildings currently in use will be affected in order to make the project work.

In other news, the council:

  • Approved the service of Bolton and Menk as a wastewater consultant to help the Municipal and Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant better meet total phosphorus and salty water discharge limits.
  • Called for a hearing on improvements for sewer and water extensions to the new District 518 ALC site. The hearing will be during the council’s Jan. 22 meeting.
  • Elected Chad Cummings as Mayor Pro Tem. Cummings and Mike Harmon had the same amount of votes; Cummings’ name was drawn at random.
  • Approved the 2018 Industrial Wastewater Treatment Fund budget.
  • Authorized the mayor to execute a new agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation that specifies the city is responsible for all costs not funded by federal funds due to failure to comply with federal requirements.
  • Appointed Mark Shepherd as the city attorney for 2018. Shepherd notified the city this will be his last year in the role.
  • Appointed Janice Oberloh as city clerk for 2018.
  • Designated The Globe as the official newspaper for all matters to be published by law.
  • Designated Bank of the West, First State Bank Southwest, Fulda Area Credit Union, Rolling Hills Bank, United Prairie Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Worthington Federal Savings Bank, SWS Financial Services, Ameriprise Financial, Edward Jones Investments and 4M Fund as official depositories.