UPDATED: Council OKs new liquor store plans; sewer and water to travel center project

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington City Council on Monday approved new liquor store plans and authorized engineering firm TSP to re-advertise for bids. Initials bids for the project came in about $350,000 over engineer's estimates, so the city went b...

WORTHINGTON - The Worthington City Council on Monday approved new liquor store plans and authorized engineering firm TSP to re-advertise for bids.


Initials bids for the project came in about $350,000 over engineer’s estimates, so the city went back to TSP to make changes to the project, bidding process and building schedule. The proposed new storefront and sales area will remain the same, though the dock addition will move from a conventional steel construction to a pre-engineered steel building, among other changes.


With those modifications, as well as a less aggressive construction schedule, the city hopes it can lower the project cost by between $100,000 and $150,000.



Advertisement for bids should be ready by Aug. 16, and council can award contracts on Sept. 11.


Also at the meeting, the council authorized a petition for improvement to extend a water main from South Lake Street to West Gateway Drive and along West Gateway Drive, and to extend a sanitary sewer along West Gateway Drive south of Flower Lane.


The water and sewer lines will go to a proposed 6,000-square-foot travel center, which is planned to include a diesel and gas station, showers, an A&W and a convenience store with deli food. The project, being funded by Worthington investors, is planned to be operational by June 2018.


The council also declared adequacy of the petitions, and approved an agreement with Design Tree Engineering for engineering services, with fees not to exceed $42,000.



In other news, council:


  • Approved a supplemental agreement to implement video technology into the McMillan Street and Oxford Street intersection. The cameras will detect traffic patterns when roads are under construction or closed for traffic, and advantage over loop detectors, which are located in the pavement.


  • Authorized a grant agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration to pay for 90 percent of the runway rehabilitation project at the Worthington Municipal Airport.


  • Heard a presentation by Gail Holinka of the Public Arts Commission. Holinka asked that the council authorize funding for the creation and maintaining of public art projects in the city.

The commission has multiple ideas planned, including new landscaping and benches in Centennial Park, a globe sculpture and an Amelia Earhart Statue sculpture, though the projects need time and funding to get done, and the commission could use help with grant writing.
City Administrator Steve Robinson said the city is waiting for a budget amount to be submitted from the commission, which was started five years ago.


  • Heard a presentation by Tammy Makram of the Memorial Auditorium. Over the next calendar year, the auditorium has 16 shows planned, and a large variety of movies and live music, including popular acts OK GO, Billy Dean and Chastity Brown.

Makram said things were going well, but she could use some upgrades to sound and lighting equipment. The auditorium often has to rent equipment from the Twin Cities to meet technical demands for live shows.


  • Approved a new position of City Planner Intern. The ideal candidate, Robinson said, is a recent college graduate who has the skills, but doesn’t have the experience, to fill the void of a missing economic development director. If they do well for a year, they would be offered the full-time position. Meanwhile, the city is still looking for a full-time employee to fill the position.


  • Had a public hearing on a Nobles Home Initiative application from North Development Group for Worthington Manor Apartments, a 72-unit apartment complex off of Darling Drive and Grand Avenue. No comments were made.


  • Approved an alley vacation off of Oslo Street.
  • Approved a range lease agreement between Minnesota West Community and Technical College and the Worthington Police Department for the college to lease the WPD pistol range for the 2017-18 school year at a cost of $1,000.


  • Approved the re-appointment of Karen Fury to the Memorial Auditorium Advisory Board, appointment of Betty McAllister to the Memorial Auditorium Advisory Board and appointment of Jayme Wiertzema to the Public Arts Commission.


  • Approved a grant easement off of Sherwood Drive for a meter building that will facilitate water from the Lewis & Clark pipeline.
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