WORTHINGTON — The Worthington City Council awarded a contract Monday night to Larson Crane Service Inc. in the amount of $492,807.75 to complete Cecilee Street extension work.

The project involves extending Cecilee Street “approximately 650 feet from its current east termination to Grand Avenue,” Worthington City Administrator Steve Robinson explained. Included in the project will be curb and gutter, storm sewer, concrete pavement, replacement of the existing water main, installation of water and sanitary sewer services, and boulevard sidewalks on both sides of street. Larson Crane was the lowest of three bidders for the project, with its bid comfortably below the engineer’s estimate of $592,417.

The street extension will result in the addition of 17 single-family lots, as well as a future street extension into the undeveloped former Northland Mall property and a future sidewalk north to the movie theater. A separate component of the project approved Monday includes hiring Bolton and Menk for engineering services at a cost of $65,000.

“Work should start late May or early June, and housing lots should be available by the end of the summer,” Robinson said.

Also on Monday, council members took the next steps forward on a pair of high-profile projects made possible by the current local option sales tax.

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An expanded Worthington Aquatic Center that will add 9,875 square feet of new pool area and include a zero-depth splash area, recreation pool, slides and a lazy river will now be advertised for bids. The bid deadline is May 26, with submissions to be considered at a special council meeting a week later.

A separate bathhouse, driveway and parking area is included in the project, which will cost a minimum of $5 million. Robinson said the city is looking at a July 2022 opening for the expanded facility.

“We beat the heck out of this thing,” Worthington Assistant City Administrator/Director of Economic Development Jason Brisson said of considering options for the expanded aquatic center. “There has been a lot of thought and effort that has gone into this.”

Additionally, the council approved a construction management services agreement for phase two of the city’s fieldhouse and recreation center project. The next phase of the work includes a 3,900-square-foot office addition, parking, driveways and site improvements. Fieldhouse operations, along with the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce, will occupy the office addition, Robinson said.

Tri-State General Contracting of Jackson was retained by the council as the construction manager. The city has earmarked $3.5 million in local sales tax revenue for the site, and JBS has also contributed $1 million toward the project.

Tri-State Director of Construction and Design Mike Pigman said Monday that work on the fieldhouse and rec center should be wrapped up by late January.

In other business, the council:

  • Amended PUD (Planned Unit Development) #10 — encompassing 7.83 acres of land directly south of Olson Park — that reduces the required rear yard setbacks from 30 feet to 20 feet. The land is the site of development by KJSM Investments within the city’s Cherrywood Addition.

  • Approved a request by the Worthington Economic Development Authority to change the zone for 8.51 acres of property it owns approximately 1,600 feet west of U.S. 59, south of 27th Street from its current TZ (transition zone district) zoning to M-2 (general manufacturing district). Cemstone maintains an interest in relocating to the property.

  • Approved a resolution authorizing emergency mutual aid for the Sibley, Iowa Fire Department. Sibley has had access to Sheldon, Iowa’s aerial truck, but that apparatus is currently out of service. Mutual aid would be requested only in the event that an aerial truck is necessary to respond to an emergency situation.

Worthington’s aerial truck and five WFD members will be supplied for such emergency situations at no charge for the first two hours needed, followed by a charge of $750 per hour if it’s necessary to stay at a scene. The arrangement could encompass a few months or a year, depending on how long the Sheldon apparatus is out of service.