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Worthington City Council considers improvement projects

WORTHINGTON -- The city of Worthington has determined that the roads in the Homewood Hills neighborhood need improvement, and the Worthington City Council has set a date and time for a public hearing before proceeding with a related project.

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WORTHINGTON - The city of Worthington has determined that the roads in the Homewood Hills neighborhood need improvement, and the Worthington City Council has set a date and time for a public hearing before proceeding with a related project.

The roads in the neighborhood have not been redone since the 1990s and have experienced wear and tear since then, it was explained during Monday’s council meeting. Also, the sidewalk curb ramps are not ADA-compliant and need improvement. Additionally, several sidewalks in the area do not extend to the street at intersections.

The report received by city council members from the engineering department concludes that the total project cost is estimated to be around $3.9 million to around $4.3 million, depending on the choice of pavement.

Before proceeding with plans, the city is required to have a public hearing. The hearing was initially scheduled at 6 p.m. April 10, but at Monday’s city council meeting, the council adjusted the time.

Council member Alan Oberloh pointed out that April 10 is a Wednesday, and lots of folks attend church on Wednesday nights. He asked to move the time and/or date in order to accommodate those who would like to attend the hearing but who also have church on Wednesdays.

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After some discussion, council voted to move the time of the hearing to 5 p.m. April 10 at the Worthington Fire Hall. If anyone would like to testify and is unable, statements can be submitted in writing ahead of time.

In other construction business Monday, the city council awarded a bid to replace the seating in the upper level of Memorial Auditorium. The only contractor that submitted a quote was Davis Seating of Black River Falls, Wis. - the same contractor that did the lower level seating last year. The bid came in at $152,200, along with an option to add cup holders for an additional $3,280. Rather than replacing the carpet, the city decided to have it cleaned instead.

Council member Chad Cummings reported that in talking with Memorial Auditorium Managing Director Tammy Makram, he has heard that including cup holders in the lower level seats have significantly reduced cleanup. For that reason, he advocated for accepting the cupholder bid, as well.

The council voted unanimously in favor of awarding the bid to Davis Seating.

Given all of the city’s upcoming construction projects, city staff thought it prudent to hire a construction administration owner’s representative. The council considered a proposal to hire Jorge Lopez at the rate of $75/hour for 15-20 hours/week on an as-needed basis.

City Administrator Steve Robinson described the position as someone who would “look out for the city’s interests” and answer questions from contractors, freeing up staff to focus on their own responsibilities. Lopez previously filled such a role for the city on the Rising Sun construction project.

City council members voted in unanimous approval of the contract.

Other actions approved by city council at Monday’s meeting:

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  • The city will begin advertising for the city planner position.
  • The animal pound boarding fee was increased from $15/day to $25/day.
  • Public Safety was cleared to transfer $6,510 from the alarm reserve fund in order to finance the purchase of 20 body-worn cameras for Worthington Police Department.
  • Council awarded a contract to replace the manholes on the industrial sewer line.
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