Former pool site chosen as possible library site #1Published by on
WORTHINGTON – The Nobles County Commissioners today chose to pursue the former outdoor pool site as a location for a proposed new library, picking the site over the other three they were considering. Originally it was recommended by library staff they eliminate two of the four possible sites, focusing on the pool site as number one and keeping another in mind as a back up, but the commissioners decided there would be nothing to gain from picking a number two at this time.
If things don’t work out for some reason with the pool site, the commissioners can then decide which of the remaining three to pursue next. According to public comment garnered during a series of town hall meetings and the county fair, most people favored the pool site, and the next highest amount of votes and comments went to the former Campbell’s Soup site, with Lamperts close behind.
The old pool site is owned by the city of Worthington. It was deeded to the city in May of 1945 as part of the E.O. Olson trust, and there are stipulations involved. Chairman Bob Demuth addressed that concern.
“Knowing what I know of the trust, there may be some obstacles, some challenges in the way it’s written,” Demuth said. “As to whether the city can just transfer it - it may not be that easy.”
According to the deed, the land was conveyed to the city to aid in the development and beautification of the lake. No part of the premises shall be used for private purposes, the deed states.
Commissioner Matt Widboom made clear that his vote to move forward with pursuing the site did not mean he was ready for a long-term vote on a new library.
“Mr. Chairman, I’m prepared to vote for the motion today, but I do it with a lot of reservations attached,” Widboom stated. “I’m voting for this primarily so we can get some dollar costs on the table, and continue to the price discovery of this project, but there are so many unknowns and unclear things to me as to who’s going to be a part of this library process. My longer range votes are going to hinge on that developing, but today’s vote is to enable us to have a clear dollar amount.”