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Worthington City Council takes action on airport plan, water extension work

Assistant fire chief also recognized for receiving his certification in fire service leadership development training

Worthington City Hall
Worthington City Hall. (Brian Korthals/Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON — The Worthington City Council approved Monday night a professional services work order to update the Worthington Municipal Airport master plan, an effort that will likely be funded by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Director of Public Works Todd Wietzema said a master services agreement was approved with Bolton and Menk nearly two years ago for identified airport projects. The firm subsequently proposed an update to the airport master plan, as the most recent major planning study for the airport was completed in 2003. Since then, the airport has made numerous improvements and the FAA has revised its planning policies.

The areas of emphasis in the update include aviation forecasting, runway length evaluation, building area development, implementation and funding plan, airport layout plan and airport property inventory map. Bolton and Menk’s proposed fee for these services is $415,000.

“Due to the COVID Relief Act, if this proposed master plan update is completed in 2021, the FAA will cover 100% of the cost,” Wietzema said. “The city will still have to use our normal federal entitlement funds to cover 90%, but the 10% city share will be covered by COVID relief funds.”

Wietzema said he expected the plan to be completed by early 2022. Mayor Mike Kuhle said the cost seemed excessive, but Wietzema said the update is needed.

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“This is something that will last us 20 to 25 years … it’s something we just have to do,” Wietzema said.

In a separate matter Monday night, the council moved forward on the city’s North Crailsheim Road planned water extension, a project that involves extending a water main along County State Aid Highway 10 from Fox Farm Road to the existing water main on the south side of the District 518 ALC/gymnastics site. Larson Crane Service of Worthington was the lowest of six bidders for the project, with its bid of $164,749 ($16,741 below the engineer’s estimate) accepted.

City council also authorized Bolton & Menk to provide certain engineering services, including construction staking — which should include adequate land surveying oversight — and resident project representative services as needed. Those fees are estimated at $18,000, if full services are needed.

In additional action Monday:

  • Worthington Fire Department Assistant Chief Pat Shorter was recognized for receiving his certification in fire service leadership development training.

Worthington City Administrator Steve Robinson said the leadership development training program, sponsored by the Minnesota Board of Firefighter Training and Education, is a 44-hour course that provides fire service leaders with training in leadership, human resources, financial management and marketing. Shorter attended the classes over four weekends in January, February and March. The classes, hosted in Baxter and St. Cloud, began on Friday evenings and continued through Saturdays.
“Being a chief officer in today's fire department requires far more expertise and knowledge than it did a generation ago to meet the expectations of the public — and their firefighters — and to be successful,” Robinson said. “This extensive course prepares fire department leaders to address practical situations and common issues that are not necessarily found in a book.”

  • Acting in the capacity of the Worthington Economic Development Authority, a 2% Loan Program loan in the amount of $24,282.02 was approved for Kristina and Matthew Schlichte.

The Schlichtes have owned Primp Salon at 924 Fifth Ave. for approximately five years. They were recently presented with the option to purchase the property. They purchased two commercial buildings at 922 and 924 Fifth Ave. Approximately $55,000 in improvements are needed to prepare the building to accommodate the Schlichtes’ full business plan.
The Schlichtes will rent out 922 Fifth Ave. to a tenant who will operate a boutique, and will also continue operating their salon at 924 Fifth Ave., renting out three cosmetology chairs, one esthetician chair and a massage space from that building. United Prairie Bank is the primary lender on the project, but has capped its contribution at 80% of the appraised value of the building. The applicant is contributing approximately 24.3% of the development cost into the project, and city EDA staff received a loan request from the Schlichtes for the remaining $59,000.01 of the total development costs.

Based on the parameters of the Worthington EDA 2% Loan program, the maximum participation amount for the EDA is $24,282.02.

  • Nobles County A.C.E. of SW Minnesota Coordinator Joanne Bartosh gave a presentation on the importance of volunteers to her organization, and the council approved a related city proclamation acknowledging National Volunteers Week April 18-24.

Bartosh cited a study that volunteerism nationally brings a value of $27.20 each hour. Though volunteering was down markedly in 2020 as a result of COVD-19, 342 volunteers delivered $858,300 in value based on that national statistic, she said.
“Our year last year was something,” Bartosh said. “It wasn’t the year we planned, but it challenged us and brought out the best in us.”

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Kuhle congratulated Bartosh and A.C.E. on its effort and thanked volunteers for their service.

“A huge well done and thank you for your service,” he 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.
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