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Sprucing up sidewalks

Downtown curb, brick work planned in FD

May 18, 2011
By BILL SHEA - Messenger staff writer , Messenger News

An effort to fix broken curbs, sidewalks and paving bricks in downtown Fort Dodge is expected to begin late this summer.

The intersection of Central Avenue and Ninth Street will be the starting point for the campaign.

The Self Supported Municipal Improvement District board of directors has budgeted $10,000 for the work in the fiscal year that starts July 1. An additional $30,000 will be drawn from other accounts to make a total of $40,000 available for the work, according to Stephanie Houk Sheetz, the senior city planner.

The initial work will consist of replacing some curbs and paving bricks, said Scott Meinders, a civil engineer in the city engineer's office. He said Tuesday that a sidewalk and paving bricks near the Plaza Park at Central Avenue and Ninth Street will also be repaired.

Meinders said the work is scheduled to begin in August.

But Pat Leiting, the chairman of the district's board, is pressing for an earlier start. He said Tuesday that he would like to see some improvements made before the new Market on Central begins in July. Market on Central will combine a traditional farmers market with sales of crafts and artwork. It will be held July 9, July 16, July 23 and July 30. If the event generates enough interest, it will also be held Aug. 6 and Aug. 13.

In an unrelated matter, Sheetz said some stop signs put up around the downtown as part of a traffic signal study will be repositioned to make them more visible. That work should be done today, she added.

The Self Supported Municipal Improvement District is a roughly 32 block downtown area in which property owners pay an extra tax to finance improvements there. Now, it is the only district of its kind in the city, but another one may be added in the next couple of years.

Jim Bird, a district board member, said talks are underway with property owners regarding the potential establishment of a similar entity for Fifth Avenue South. He said it would pay for maintaining the landscaping and other decorative features put in place in the last year and a half as part of the Corridor of Commerce project. The Corridor of Commerce is intended to improve the safety and appearance of Fifth Avenue South and Kenyon Road.

Contact Bill Shea at (515) 573-2141 or



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