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Oxford Street reconstruction could start in July

Despite last month's uncertainty, the council moved ahead with Oxford Street reconstruction plans after securing additional federal funding.

City of Worthington
Worthington City Hall (Brian Korthals/Daily Globe)
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WORTHINGTON — During its Monday night meeting, the Worthington City Council awarded the contract for the Oxford Street reconstruction project to Duininck, Inc. of Prinsburg.

While bids for the project were initially received in May, the council held off in awarding the contract due to costs coming in at over $5 million — 34% higher than the initial engineer estimates of $3,738,774.50.

The council convened for a special session last month to discuss possible options, including the potential to secure additional federal funding, which the state has agreed to designate. With 80% of the added costs, the remaining $250,077.50 will be split per the agreement between the city and Nobles County on the joint project. The additional city share will be around $125,000.

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The council also approved the purchase of lighting and rigging equipment for Memorial Auditorium during its Aug. 8 meeting.

Work on Oxford Street, which will be completed in two phases, is likely to begin sometime in July, noted City Engineer Steve Schnieder. Depending on what the city decides, the reconstruction efforts will start either on the outside part of the street or with the inside lanes.

“At this point, I don't think they're anticipating being able to get everything done in one season,” Schnieder said. “So we're probably looking at getting the first phase done. We probably have to then blend things together.”

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The road would be open throughout the winter, with work to continue next construction season as the project moves to the second phase.

Also during Monday night’s meeting, the council amended the cable television public access channels joint powers agreement between the City of Worthington and ISD 518. First approved in 1998, the agreement established a seven-person joint powers board to operate, administer, promote and manage access to Cable Channel 3 of the Worthington television cable system.

As part of the amendment, operations and management will be transferred to ISD 518 effective July 1. Employees of the local cable television operation will work for ISD 518, rather than the City of Worthington.

The City shall continue to receive franchise fees, which will then be transferred to ISD 518. In addition, the fund balance held by the city will be transferred to ISD 518.

In other action, the council:

  • Approved an application for Nobles Home Initiative tax abatement for construction of a two-unit condominium.
  • Approved an annexation petition submitted by Ridley Inc., for 7.9 acres of land located south of Nobles County 35, in order to construct a storage building in need of electrical service access. The city will reimburse Lorain Township for two years worth of taxes, in the amount of $201.82, in accordance with state statutes. 
  • Accepted the 2021 comprehensive financial report, as presented by Jenna Ahlers of Drealan, Kvilhaug, Hoefker & Co., P.A..
  • Approved the third and final reading of a proposed ordinance to amend the city’s Liquor Liability Insurance. 
  • Approved a petition to reappoint water main assessments for the Worthington Bio Science Industrial Park, second addition.
  • Approved the third and final reading of a proposed ordinance regarding changes to rental property standards, inspections and enforcement. 
  • Designated Mike Kuhle as the 2022 representative to Cuero, Texas for TurkeyFest and authorized the reimbursement of expenses. 
  • Provided a summary of the performance review for city administrator Steve Robinson, who was accredited a positive review by all in attendance during a closed session. 
  • Approved a resolution establishing an annual $750 fee for mobile food units operating in the city of Worthington. 
  • Reclassified the position of rental housing inspector to include a higher salary midpoint ($33.29), due to expanded expectations of the position. 
  • Reclassified the position of full-time retail clerk at the Liquore Store to include an approximately $2 increase in salary, based on increased responsibility caused by business demands. 
  • Approved a park bench donation for Chautauqua Park.
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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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