WORTHINGTON — The Worthington City Council conducted its first-ever meeting via the online application Zoom on Monday night, making its way through a light agenda in less than 30 minutes.

Worthington City Administrator Steve Robinson, City Clerk Mindy Eggers, Assistant City Administrator Jason Brisson and City Engineer Dwyane Haffield, along with council members Amy Ernst and Alan Oberloh, were present inside council chambers for the meeting. Meanwhile, councilmen Chad Cummings, Mike Harmon and Larry Janssen attended remotely. All votes were required to be made by roll call for the benefit of the official minutes.

Among the actions taken during the meeting was approval of a resolution authorizing Mayor Mike Kuhle to declare a local emergency as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The necessary resources to respond to and recover from this pandemic will likely exceed those resources available within the City, and additional resources may be needed from Nobles County, state and federal sources,” notes a portion of text in the resolution, which also extends the state of local emergency “until such time as this resolution is rescinded by the City Council.” The full resolution was to be posted on the city’s website.

Toward the end of the meeting, Kuhle addressed the community’s response to the ongoing pandemic.

“Businesses are all working hard to slow the spread of this disease,” he said. “They don’t want to close, and their employees don’t want them to close. I’m very proud of our businesses.

“We just need to work ... with all the health and hygiene data that’s been put out there,” he added. “If we all do that, we’ll each be in a better spot.”

The mayor also expressed his gratitude to city staff and leadership for their efforts in reacting and decision-making. Meanwhile, Ernst, an employee of Worthington Independent School District 518, gave her professional colleagues a shout-out.

“People are doing a great job with this strange situation that we’re in,” she said.

In an additional matter Monday, the council unanimously approved the third and final required reading of a text amendment to city code pertaining to commercial communication towers in residential districts. With the change, towers in these districts are to only be on principal lands of schools, hospitals or other institutional uses.

Council members also approved the second reading of a code amendment that will allow scoreboards in residential, institutional and natural features districts, with certain restrictions.

In other business Monday, the council approved:

  • Plans for the 2020 sanitary and storm water improvements project. The utility fund budget includes $181,500 for storm sewer repairs in four locations: Eighth Avenue (13th Street to 185 feet southwest, replace main and manhole); 12th Street and Fourth Avenue (replace two catch basins & lead, add manhole); Ninth Street at Sixth Avenue (replace catch basin, lead & manhole); and Fourth Avenue at 11th Street (install catch basin lead. The 2020 wastewater fund budget includes $152,000 for sanitary sewer repairs in two locations: Dorathea Boulevard (replace 330 feet of main) and Fourth Avenue (10th to 11th Street, two spot repairs).

With its action, the council authorized advertisement for bids to be received by April 22 and considered at the April 27 meeting.

  • Plans for the south concrete apron reconstruction project and a taxiway B & C pavement maintenance project, both at Worthington Municipal Airport. The current estimate for work on the apron is $681,948, with the city’s share at $108,673. For the taxiway project, the estimated cost is $168,768, with a city share of $8,438. Bids for these projects will also be due April 22 and considered April 27,

  • The donation by “Worthington Pool League Members” of a park bench that will be placed near the Chautauqua Park bandshell in memory of Mandy Clark-Altman.