Worthington City Council accepts $50,000 Blandin Foundation grant

The Blandin Foundations’ Rural Leadership Boost Grant is aimed at supporting “local vision” and spurring “dreamers and doers who move rural places forward.” In their grant application, the CCAC proposed to create a pipeline of community members to city roles and elected positions that are more representative of Worthington’s diverse population.

Worthington city hall
We are part of The Trust Project.

WORTHINGTON — The Worthington City Council accepted a $50,000 grant from the Blandin Foundation during its Monday night meeting.

The Center for Active Living's racquetball courts were also discussed. They will be repaired, with one of the courts to be retrofitted to better serve CAL members.
Rick Von Holdt presided over his first meeting as Worthington's new mayor.
New Worthington Mayor Rick Von Holdt and council members Alaina Kolpin and Larry Janssen participated in a swearing-in ceremony at Worthington City Hall on Jan. 4, 2023

Worthington’s Cross Cultural Advisory Committee applied for the grant, and City Administrator Steve Robinson said it was a surprise to learn the city had been selected to receive it. The council was not aware that the grant was submitted by a CCAC board member.

“That individual then moved on to another opportunity and is no longer on the committee. So everyone was a little taken aback when the grant was awarded,” Robinson said. “But it is a very … prestigious (grant), and to be selected for this grant is something that we really want to try and bring forward and carry out the purpose.”

The Blandin Foundations’ Rural Leadership Boost Grant is aimed at supporting “local vision” and spurring “dreamers and doers who move rural places forward.” In their grant application, the CCAC proposed to create a pipeline of community members to city roles and elected positions that are more representative of Worthington’s diverse population.

In that spirit, the Blandin Foundation’s grant will go toward the creation of two part-time internship positions that will help with translation and interpretation services, though it was noted by council that those roles and responsibilities will need further definition as the city moves forward.


"We're hoping these interns can create some action with the ideas that are generated from the committee," said councilwoman Amy Ernst, who serves on the CCAC board.

While the grant and positions are limited to one year, the city was granted an extended deadline to get up and running, due to the unusual circumstances in which the grant was applied for.

While $36,000 will go toward the internship positions, $9,600 of the grant will be budgeted toward paying CCAC members $100 for attendance at monthly meetings during the grant period. An additional $4,400 will be for educational opportunities including interpretation and translation certificates, community engagement and communication.

“Although it sounds like this was attained in, maybe a little unusual manner,” said councilwoman Alaina Kolpin, “I do think that it was someone that probably had an idea for what needs to be done within the city…. It’s $50,000 to try to help make the city in a better way, so I think that’s a great thing.”

Faćade improvement

The council also approved two grant applications for the city’s faćade improvement program at the Economic Development Authority meeting, just prior to the start of the city council meeting.

Both applicants were eligible for a matching grant up to $10,000, and had received previous approval from the grant subcommittee.

In 2012, the MPCA issued a notice of violation for “discharges of inadequately treated sewage to the waters of the state from the unincorporated community of Reading.”
Commercial farmers in Nebraska, the Dakotas, and Minnesota start using drones for spraying, seeding.
Even if it's not a lucrative venture, the hobby of raising rabbits continues at this farm near Sebeka, Minnesota.

The building containing New Gen Studio and New Gen Smoke Shop will receive $3,988 from the city’s grant program, having secured a low bid of $7,977. The work will include repairs to the front of the building, windows, doors, side lights, transom and aluminum store front.

The second building receiving grant money houses Worthington Footwear & Repair and Flynn's Law offices. A majority of the work will take place on the Worthington Footwear side of the building.


Having received a low bid of $17,540, the applicant is eligible for a maximum award of $8,770. It was noted by council that businesses could decide to go with the higher bid, but that would not change that amount of grant money they were allotted.

“It’s a good project,” said Mayor Mike Kuhle of the Faćade Improvement Program. “It’s been very well received.

Robinson noted that approval of the two grants would put the city in excess of the $100,000 allotted for 2022 by around $3,000. However, he stated the funds have not yet all been dispersed, and the city had $93,000 set aside for 2023.

“This has been a very popular program,” Robinson said. “I think the sentiment is going to be to continue it moving forward.”

Pension adjustment

Council members also voted Monday night to adjust the lump sum payment received by eligible volunteer firefighters at the time of their retirement. The benefit level has been adjusted from time to time to reflect inflation, with the last adjustment made in 2021.

The Firefighter Relief Association sought a 2% increase over the current benefit of $2,939 per year of active service. Having been approved by council, the adjusted retirement benefit will move to $3,039, effective Jan. 1, 2023.

In other action, the council:

  • Approved the second reading of an ordinance regarding stormwater regulations, first read during the Oct. 12 City Council meeting .
  • During committee reports, Kuhle issued a thank you to all those involved with the Governor’s pheasant opener. 
  • Councilman Chad Cummings noted the YMCA continues to move forward with discussion of bringing the new pool online and management under an aquatics director. 
  • Robinson informed the council that the Olson Park pavement project is complete, and he is hopeful the bridge abutment will be done soon.
"It's difficult to think of a way this could have been worse,” said Deputy County Attorney Braeden Hoefert on the circumstance of the case.
Attendees will be able to sit in on presentations and receive overdose response training on Thursday, at the Worthington Event Center.
Three individuals were sentenced recently in Nobles County Fifth District Courts in cases previously reported on by The Globe.
Robert and Kelli Bush are scheduled to make their initial court appearances Feb. 7.
Enterprises Minnesota’s State of Manufacturing survey was presented to regional manufacturers and industry stakeholders on Tuesday at the Worthington Event Center.
From semi-strangers to old friends, it's touching to have people wish you the best.
Follow the Globe Minute, our twice-weekly Worthington news and weather podcast, on Apple, Spotify, or Google Podcasts!
If convicted, Connell faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and/or a $40,000 fine, and a mandatory minimum of 144 months, on each of the first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of no more than five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both for each of the charges against him.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both.

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.
What To Read Next
For incidents recorded the evening of Feb. 3 through the early morning of Feb. 7.
NCHS director Beth Rickers will lead a program about the Victorian language of flowers and Valentine’s Day traditions.
The sunset paints a vibrant sky behind the birds.
Those who value education are attracted by strong public libraries, which is why professionals ... are drawn to communities with up-to-date, attractive libraries....