Fort Dodge Mayor Matt Bemrich formally vetoed a plan to move the location of the proposed crosstown connector Monday, and then was apparently surprised when some City Council members seemed to resist a compromise to work on the project at its original location in 2014.
''We actually arrived at a compromise,'' Bemrich said during the council meeting Monday.
''I don't think we're ready to discuss that,'' Councilman Mark Taylor replied.
''Maybe we don't have a compromise,'' Bemrich said. ''We'll see what happens.''
Bemrich's veto ends, at least for now, a plan to relocate a downtown street realignment from the area of Fifth and Sixth streets to the area of 10th through 12th streets. The City Council approved that shift on a 4-3 vote during a special meeting on May 15.
The council now has 30 days to attempt to override the veto. Five council members would have to vote to override the veto.
The mayor had pledged to veto the shift even before the council approved it. He described it as a political stalling move to kill the project without actually voting it down.
Prior to the meeting, Bemrich distributed a document outlining the compromise he believed had been achieved. Under that proposal, storm drainage and road improvements along First Avenue South between 25th and 29th streets would be done next year, and the downtown street realignment at its original site would be constructed in 2014. The proposal called for hiring an engineer this summer to begin designing the needed road and drainage improvements on First Avenue South.
Bemrich said the compromise had been reached through talks with council members since the May 15 meeting.
In his formal veto message, the mayor wrote ''I appreciate and thank all members of the council for their continued commitment to our city and to a comprehensive capital improvement plan. Please note that the next step to deal with this compromise is to adopt the intended projects into the CIP (capital improvement plan) and allow staff to continue to work on these projects.''
Following the meeting Monday, Councilman Don Wilson denied that a deal had been reached.
''There's no compromise on it yet,'' he said.
Wilson said the proposal outlined in the mayor's document was written by Bemrich and Councilman Kim Alstott.
''We went through it today,'' he said. ''We need to work some things out.''
Wilson said he did not know when an agreement on the crosstown connector will be worked out.
The crosstown connector project calls for turning First Avenue South into a two-way street for its entire length. A key part of the plan is linking First Avenue South and Second Avenue South downtown.
City staffers have warned that $2.2 million worth of grants already awarded for the project could be lost if the street connection is moved from the area of Fifth and Sixth streets.
Monday's veto was the second one Bemrich has made since becoming mayor in 2010. Late last year, he vetoed a payment to a construction company because of the poor quality of brick crosswalks on Fifth Avenue South near 25th Street.
Contact Bill Shea at (515) 573-2141 or email@example.com