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WELL project gets initial nod from city

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington City Council on Monday tentatively approved $2 million toward the proposed WELL (Welcome, Education, Library, Livability) building.

WORTHINGTON - The Worthington City Council on Monday tentatively approved $2 million toward the proposed WELL (Welcome, Education, Library, Livability) building.

 

The council stipulated that the project must start by Jan. 1, 2020 to get the money, which would come from the city’s hospital fund. If it does, the council will consider donating the former Campbell Soup property - the proposed location for the building - which is valued at $225,000.

 

Nobles County has submitted a bonding request to the legislature for $15 million. If approved, that would leave another $16.4 million to be funded locally.

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While city council members expressed willingness to get the project done, they questioned whether all of the Nobles County commissioners felt the same way.

 

“My concern is the lack of overwhelming enthusiasm on behalf of the county commissioners,” said councilman Alan Oberloh. “I don't think that the offer should include property the city owns at this point, because I’m not sure they are sure that’s where they want to be. I think there’s two county commissioners that will vote against it because it’s in Worthington.”

 

Councilwoman Amy Ernst said she felt “underwhelming dedication” from county commissioners present at a joint city-council-school meeting last week.

 

“It’s an awesome project, but where is our cheerleader, our leader, saying let’s move forward with this?” Ernst said. “And if we don’t have that leader, I’m concerned.”

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For more of this story, see Wednesday's print edition and dglobe.com.

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