ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Park will likely be part of planned Cecilee Addition

Location between Burlington and Grand avenues emerges as preferred site

2021-0115_WORTHINGTON PARK LOCATION DISPLAY S1.jpg
This graphic by the Bolton & Menk engineering firm shows potential locations for a park within the planned Cecilee Addition. (Special to The Globe)

WORTHINGTON — It appears a new neighborhood park will be part of the city’s planned Cecilee Addition, given the consensus opinion during Wednesday afternoon’s special Worthington City Council meeting.

City council members, in a joint discussion with members of the Worthington Planning Commission, indicated their preference for a new park as part of the project. While three alternative locations for the park were presented, a final site was not determined — though one of the three choices appears to be a clear favorite.

During a Jan. 5 planning commission meeting, members discussed the preliminary plat of Cecilee Addition and ultimately opted to table recommending its approval until having a joint session with the city council.

“My first question is, is it the interest of the council to have a park in this area?” asked Planning Commission Chairman Ben Weber of city council members Wednesday.

Mayor Mike Kuhle and other council members answered in the affirmative. Conversation then shifted to potential locations of a park within the addition, with one site requiring the purchase of a piece of property from Worthington Christian School (WCS) and another currently poised for new housing development.

ADVERTISEMENT

Councilman Chad Cummings advocated for a third option.

“It fits in well between the church (American Reformed) and Grand Terrace,” Cummings said of what was deemed as “Site A.”

Assistant City Administrator Jason Brisson echoed Cummings’ support.

“From an economic development point of view, I’d probably favor Site A,” Brisson said, “Site B appears to lay out pretty well for single-family homes, and I think there’s a pretty big need for single-family homes. I’d be hesitant to give up that good, developable land on Site B, and Site C (involving the WCS land) is probably more attractive from a residential, commercial or multi-family point of view.”

Kuhle also said he liked Site A, which City Planner Jeremiah Cromie reported would be potentially available for the city’s purchase — though he wasn’t aware of a price. Also in favor of that location was Public Works Director Todd Wietzema, who with his crew would be responsible for snow removal.

“Your traffic on Grand may be busier … but the park could be quite a ways off the street,” Wietzema said.

The mostly residential subdivision that would be known as Cecilee Addition is an 11.29-acre tract owned by the city and located east of Grand Avenue and west of the existing Cecilee Street. It would create 19 lots for residential development, one lot for the existing movie theater site and one for a filtration pond.

New development proposal in works

City council members voted unanimously to approve up to $5,500 in consulting fees and authorized Kuhle and City Clerk Mindy Eggers to sign any necessary agreements to update the recent North Industrial Park Master Corridor Study created by Bolton & Menk. The update is the result of the city’s receipt of a development proposal from Duininck Inc. to construct a bituminous facility in that area.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Worthington Economic Development Authority is already in negotiations with Cemstone regarding its interest in purchasing EDA-owned property south of 27th Street, west of Bedford Technology, to develop a ready-mix concrete facility. The objectives of the new Bolton & Menk study would be to determine the most economical configuration for the two proposed developments while preserving the marketability of the remaining and nearby undeveloped properties, Brisson explained.

“This is going to pretty much explode everything we have planned out there,” said Brisson, stating the need for a study update.

Planning commission members also took part in discussion on the matter, and there was a consensus from its standpoint to have the city move forward with a revised study,

“If we didn’t put it here, where else would we put it?” asked Amy Ernst, who represents the city council on the planning commission, of the proposed development. “This is the most favorable location, by far.”

Planning Commission member Amy Woitalewicz also noted that air quality issues would be mediated at a new Duininck Inc. site, thanks to new technology. Worthington City Administrator Steve Robinson acknowledged the likelihood of a smoke trail from a new plant, but added that great strides have been made over past facilities.

“In their (Duininck’s) world, this is exceptionally clean,” he said.

Airport and park advisory board resident requirements

The council took no official action on the matter, but was amenable to a change in the city’s charter in order to allow one non-Worthington resident to serve on the Airport Advisory Board and Park Advisory Board.

Wietzema suggested that a change to current rules would state that at least four of the five members of each advisory board be residents of the city of Worthington. Cummings suggested that the non-city residents be required to live in Nobles County, and Ernst and Kuhle agreed.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We’re just looking to expand our pool of possible candidates,” Wietzema said.

Related Topics: GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Ryan McGaughey arrived in Worthington in April 2001 as sports editor of The Daily Globe, and first joined Forum Communications Co. upon his hiring as a sports reporter at The Dickinson (North Dakota) Press in November 1998. McGaughey became news editor in Worthington in November 2002 and editor in August 2006.
What To Read Next
The North Dakota Highway Patrol investigated the Wednesday, Jan. 25, crash.
Fundraising is underway to move the giant ball of twine from the Highland, Wisconsin, home of creator James Frank Kotera, who died last month at age 75, 44 years after starting the big ball.
“We see that when things happen in the coastal areas, a few years later, they start trending toward the Midwest,” said Rep. Ben Krohmer, serving his first term in the House.
“This is sensationalism at its finest, and it does not deserve to be heard in our state capitol,” Rep. Erin Healy, a Democrat and one of 10 votes against the bill in the 70-person chamber, said.