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Amelia Earhart statue could be on a Worthington beach by next spring

Plans for a bronze statue of the pilot who spent time in Worthington during her early years was approved during Monday night's city council meeting.

City of Worthington
Worthington City Hall (Brian Korthals/Daily Globe)
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WORTHINGTON — Worthington is set to welcome a bronze statue of Amelia Earhart, following the approval from the Worthington City Council during their Monday night meeting and pending a 30-day public review period.

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The famed pilot was known to have spent time in Worthington during her youth and has received mention in numerous Worthington historical writings.

The statue received unanimous approval from the Public Arts Committee when presented by the Worthington Community Image Committee during its May 10 meeting. Sailboard Beach was suggested as a location for the statue, which was later endorsed by the Park Advisory Board on May 17.

Funding for the $44,000 project will be undertaken by the Community Image Committee. Monday’s meeting marked the announcement and period for public review.

A final presentation will be made by the Public Arts Commission to the City Council on June 27 for approval to proceed.

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City Planner Matt Selof also presented information to the City Council on Monday night regarding a proposed text amendment to the city code section on rental units that would change the rate of inspections, provide for administrative fines and clean up the existing code.

Under the ordinance, systematic inspections would be conducted once every three years, or annually for rental units found to be in violation of inspection regulations and units that have had complaints submitted. An exception will be made to the three-year inspection minimum for newly-constructed units within five years of being issued a certification of occupancy by the authorized building official.

As part of the requirements to pass inspection, the ordinance outlines necessities like fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and running water, among other things.

“There's a whole bunch of things spelled out in there,” Selof noted, “but basically (it’s) everything that would really make a place livable and safe for the occupants.”

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The City Council moved to adopt the ordinance, though additional readings are required before finalization.

The council also approved a proposed fee structure for the JBS Fieldhouse, which would allow free entry for those under the age of six. Daily fees for ages 7 to 12 will be $2, and $5 for those over the age of 13.

Rental rates for spaces within the Fieldhouse will be set at $60 per half hour for use of the field and $10 for a half-hour of batting cage use. Meeting rooms and the Mezzanine will also be available in one-hour slots for $15 and $30, respectively.

In other action, City Council:

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  • Approved the second reading of a proposed amendment to the city code that would allow for food trucks to obtain an annual operating license in the city of Worthington, rather than the current seasonal license. 
  • Approved an ordinance that would amend city code by removing the current requirement to name the city as an additional insured on license holders’ liquor liability insurance policy.
  • Accepted donations to the Worthington Police Department from Jeanine and Marv Spomer in the amount of $500. The funds will be used to purchase items such as books, pencils and sporting equipment the officers can utilize and distribute while interacting with the local youth. The council also accepted a $50 donation to the WPD from Scott Altman to benefit the City Pound, which will go towards items such as bowls or other animal care items.
  • Approved a bid in the amount of $400,274.20 from Structural Specialties Inc. for the Olson Park Pedestrian Bridge project, as well as a proposal for construction services on the project by Short Elliott Hendrickson for $43,751. 
  • Awarded the contract for five street reconstruction projects and the bituminous overlay work to Duininck, Inc. for $1,551,080.75. While over the engineer’s estimate by $276,112.82, city staff found that this increase was reflective of the increased bid prices due to the current economic situation and that there is no indication that bid prices will be any lower if the project were rebid. An agreement of professional services with Bolton and Menk, Inc., was also approved by the City Council regarding this project, for a proposed cost that is not to exceed $172,000.
Emma McNamee joined The Globe team in October 2021 as a reporter covering Crime & Courts, Politics, and the City beats. Born and raised in Duluth, Minn., McNamee left her hometown to attend school in Chicago at Columbia College. She graduated in 2021 with a degree in Multimedia Journalism, with a concentration in News & Feature Writing and a minor in Creative Writing.
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