AUSTIN – The City of Austin voted 4-3 Monday night to accept a contract agreement with Worthington City Administrator Craig Clark to hire him as the new Austin City Administrator, starting Dec. 8.
Clark will be paid a starting salary of $124,000. After six months, the city will review Clark’s job performance, and a good review would increase his annual salary to $128,000.
The contract calls for Clark to get 20 days of vacation each year and up to 40 days of sick time. It also includes a $400 a month car allowance, and up to $3,500 for temporary housing.
Council members who supported the agreement say Clark is the right man for the job and the terms of the contract were fair. Dissidents said they weren't pleased with the large amount of vacation and sick time Clark would receive, or the bump in pay after a satisfactory six-month job evaluation. Some believed Clark's contract wasn't fair to the city and Council member Jeff Austin openly wondered about Clark's commitment to the city if he had spent so much time dickering over smaller details.
Austin City Attorney David Hoverstein said it appeared Clark was very enthusiastic about starting a new job in their city. Clark will be working in a similar situation, as he'll manage about 140 employees and a $31 million budget, compared to Worthington's 100 or so employees and $37 million budget.
Austin fired former administrator Jim Hurm last December. He was making just over $109,000 a year. During the process of hiring a new administrator, the Austin council announced plans to offer a contract of $120,000 to $130,000 a year.
Clark is currently under contract for $109,079 per year with the city of Worthington.
The Austin council normally preliminarily approves an issue at a work session and formally approves it at the following public meeting two weeks later, but the council put on a small session before Monday's public meeting to approve the terms.
WORTHINGTON - All members of King Turkey Day, Inc. are invited to attend the 2014 Annual Meeting on Friday, October 24th at BenLee’s Cafe. 6:00 p.m. social, 6:30 p.m. meeting.
Membership, as defined in the By-Laws, is such persons, natural or corporate, who contribute to and assist in the conduct of any of the promotional activities by this corporation.
The meeting consists of reports on this year’s celebration, election of officers, new members of the Board of Directors, and comments concerning the 2014 celebration.
WORTHINGTON – There will be a Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting ceremony for TD Auto Sales at 2 p.m. Monday at 1506 Oxford Street in Worthington.
SLAYTON - There will be a Southern Minnesota Tourism Summit at Key Largo on Lake Shetek on November 6th. It will be an interactive gathering of communities, businesses, elected officials, organizations and tourism professionals from a large region. The event will focus on how the entities can work together to increase tourism, foster economic growth, build a sense of community and provide a better quality of life.
The event registration begins at 9 a.m. and discussion will wrap up around noon. Invited are elected officials, park staff and trail organizations, lodging properties, outfitters, restaurants and attraction owners, tourism professionals, business owners, convention and visitor bureaus and anyone who has an interest in area tourism.
The general communities involved in the summit will include those of southwest Minnesota, moderated by Explore Minnesota Tourism staff. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in each of the round table discussions, learn what others are doing and share ideas and thoughts with other attendees.
Please RSVP your attendance by November 1st to Christy Riley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 507-836-1147.
CURRIE – The grand opening of the White Space in Currie will be an all ages Halloween party from 3 to 6 p.m. Oct. 25. The White Space is a new multi-use space for special events located in the old Currie hardware store building.
The Halloween party includes an all ages costume contest, caricature drawings, party games and prizes, poetry readings and Halloween-themed fine arts and screen prints on display.
SIOUX FALLS, SD - At approximately 12:56 a.m. this morning, Sioux Falls Police responded to a robbery at SuperAmerica on 41st Street.
Authorities said a white man entered the gas station, displayed a hunting knife and demanded money from the clerk. He was given an undisclosed amount of cash and left the business walking west.
The suspect was last seen wearing a green hooded sweatshirt, dark-green shorts, black gloves and a black bandana over his face. He is about 6'0" with a medium build and in his mid-20s.
ROLFE, Iowa - A student and his mother face felony charges after authorities say they searched the boy's home in Rolfe and found enough explosive materials to level a two-story building.
Pocahontas County Sheriff Bob Lampe says the 14-year-old boy, who was not identified, reportedly planned to blow up a building in November.
Lampe says the boy apparently researched how to make the explosive material and had perfected the formula. The boy was charged with possessing explosive materials with intent to use the material to commit a public offense.
The teen's mother was charged with possession of explosive materials, child endangerment and aiding and abetting reckless use of explosives. She was not named.
Authorities say a teacher saw the boy researching explosives on a school computer.
CHASKA - A farmer in Carver County died after he was accidentally buried in a ditch on his farm Sunday.
Dennis Lenzen, 78, of Dahlgren Township, was installing drainage tile in a ditch in his farm field when an employee pushed dirt into the ditch to hold the drainage tile in place and accidentally buried Lenzen, according to the Carver County Sheriff’s Office.
The employee called 911 for help and then dug with his hands in an attempt to rescue Lenzen. Emergency responders arrived and located Lenzen, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
The farm is located southwest of Chaska along County Road 43, just south of Hwy. 212.