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Worthington City Council discusses ice arena management, city hall security

The recent water damage to the Center for Active Living's racquetball courts was also addressed.

City of Worthington
Worthington City Hall (Brian Korthals/Daily Globe)
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WORTHINGTON — The Worthington City Council Monday evening discussed a possible agreement with the Worthington Hockey Association, which would transfer management responsibilities of the local ice arena to the city.

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A volunteer organization, the Worthington Hockey Association has successfully managed the facility and hockey program for more than 30 years. However, Jason Johnson, a representative of the association, noted that finding the volunteer numbers to keep the facility running has become more of a challenge.

“From a Hockey Association standpoint, I'd love to see this happen because it would give us more opportunity to try to grow our program,” Johnson noted before the council. “And from a city of Worthington, and really county standpoint, I see this as an opportunity to have more opportunities for ice time, events, and things like that.”

Both parties agree that with the City of Worthington's management abilities the facility could be marketed and used for a variety of events. It is proposed that city recreation staff be utilized to manage the facility in conjunction with the new Field House facility.

While discussion is still in the early stages, the council gave the go-ahead, authorizing city staff to explore a formal agreement for the arena.

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Also on Monday, the council approved a proposal from Midwest Alarm to outfit city hall with building access and video surveillance systems for improved security.

The proposal includes enhancements to the video surveillance system through the addition of 10 cameras. Video cameras will be added at the entrances, hallways and exterior at a proposed cost of $30,317.06. Funding for the video system was budgeted in the 2021 ARPA allocation.

City staff is also exploring options to improve building access security, and that will be discussed further at a later date.

Roof leak at CAL causes damage

An agreement to perform water mitigation services at the Center for Active Living was approved during Monday night’s meeting. Portions of the walls and flooring in both racquetball courts were damaged recently by water intrusion resulting from roof leakage at the facility.

After the damage was reviewed by a claims adjuster, the proposed scope of work includes removing and disposing of all moisture-impacted building material and using air dryers to remove moisture from the air and remaining materials. An anti-microbial spray may also be applied to wall cavities, studs and ceiling joists.

The estimated cost of repairs is $79,406.28, which is covered under the city's insurance, subject to the deductible.

In other news, the council:

  • Approved blocking off sidewalk for Worthington Crazy Days.
  • Appointed election judges and alternates for the Aug. 9 election. 
  • Accepted a donation from Greg Gruber for a parcel of land with development restrictions due to city utilities. 
  • Issued final approval of the Amelia Earhart statue, proposed by the Worthington Community Image Committee. The statue, depicting the famed aviator, will be located on Sailboard Beach, and city staff has agreed to help with the placement of the statue. The $44,000 cost will be secured through fundraising efforts by the Community Image Committee. 
  • Discussed altering the current floor-to-area ratio requirements in the city code. These requirements, specific to different zoning districts, determine the maximum floor area allowable for the building or buildings in direct ratio to the gross area of the lot.
  • Following a closed session, city staff was authorized to begin preparing a purchase agreement to acquire the former Lakeshore Gas Station property at a verbally agreed-upon price of $380,000.
  • Prior to the council meeting, the Worthington Economic Development Authority met and approved a matching grant of $6,480 for downtown business Seed & Stem as part of the city’s Facade Improvement Program. 
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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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