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WPD gets grants for new equipment

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington City Council authorized Monday two grants benefitting the Worthington Police Department. The first is a $15,000 grant from State Farm to supplement the Worthington Community Speed Reduction Program. WPD will use the...

WORTHINGTON - The Worthington City Council authorized Monday two grants benefitting the Worthington Police Department.

 

The first is a $15,000 grant from State Farm to supplement the Worthington Community Speed Reduction Program. WPD will use the grant funds to purchase a speed alert radar message sign, trailer and other associated components.

 

Public Safety Director Troy Appel said the signs would alert the department to areas that need to be patrolled more often by seeing how often drivers are speeding.

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“It’ll monitor the action wherever we place it, so we can maintain that data and go back and study that and respond appropriately,” he said.

 

The council also authorized a $5,975.02 grant from the Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation for the purchase of six Lifepak 1000 Automated External Defibrillators to replace obsolete units. The WPD will match the grant amount to complete the purchases.

 

Appel said some of the current AEDs have faulty batteries and cannot be repaired or maintained by the original company. He said having reliable AEDs in squad cars provides for a better chance of survival, as police often arrive to the scene of an emergency a few minutes before ambulances.

 

In an unrelated vote, the council approved adjustments to rental fees for the Worthington Event Center. Prices for corporate clients and weddings will generally decrease.

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Event Center General Manager Tyler Knutson said changes were done to better compete with nearby event centers in Luverne and Brandon, S.D.

 

On of the few increases is the price for Saturday weddings in the event center ballroom from June to October, which will increase by $250. Knutson said those months are prime wedding season, which now tends to extend into the fall.

 

The event center has seen an uptick in activity this year. In 2014, the first full year of operation, the event center hosted 56 meetings, 23 banquets and 27 weddings.

 

Nearly four months into 2017, the event center already has already scheduled or hosted 52 meetings, 21 banquets and 26 weddings

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Also related to the event center, the council awarded a contract to Gary’s Painting to tear down the facility’s interior wallpaper and paint the walls for an amount not to exceed $5,651.40. The event center staff has tried to repair the wallpaper, but none of their methods have been effective.

 

The council also approved an addition to the Boy Scout building in Chautauqua Park that will include restrooms, meeting rooms and additional storage areas.

 

The current building, built in 1938, has no restrooms or plumbing and isn’t handicap accessible. The new, redone building with the extension would have a kitchen, bathrooms and would be handicap accessible and up to code.

 

The Boy Scouts are growing, with 27 members in the pack and 13 in the troop. Because the building has no bathrooms, young scouts have to meet elsewhere during the winter.

 

Two trees will need to be removed to make room for the 38 feet by 48 feet extension. The building will be done with log siding like the other buildings in the park.

 

In order to pay for it, the troop is raising funds, facilitated through the Worthington Area Foundation. The Council voted to have the city act as the fiscal sponsor for the project. The city will be a middleman, ensuring the funds raised will be used for the project, as the WAF can only disburse money to other nonprofits or local government.

 

In other news, the council:

 

  • Accepted a check from Terri Janssen, Cecelia Bofah and Christine Bullerman of Nobles County Community Services and Community Wellness Partners. The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee awarded a $50,000 grant to Nobles County Community Services on March 21 to purchase sports field equipment at the reconstructed Buss Field.

 

  • Amended the budget to provide repairs to the Worthington Area YMCA aquatic center slide. The project, which involves dismantling of the slide components, replacing the two main support columns and sandblasting and coating with silicone and polyurethane paint, will cost $14,848.38. The council authorized funds to be used from the Aquatic Center Reserves balance.

 

  • Adopted a resolution supporting new dedicated state funding for city streets. The League of Minnesota Cities, of which Worthington is a member, has encouraged member cities to pass such resolutions. The League supports a $10 surcharge on license tab fees and $10 surcharge on motor vehicle title transfers to fund an account that would fund streets and bridges. Worthington would receive an estimated $86,709 annually if the measure was passed.

 

  • Approved eight private dock permit applications. All of the applicants were permit holders in 2016.
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