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Council will tackle housing issues

Voting expected on DOT grants for FD street realignment

September 22, 2012
By BILL SHEA, , Messenger News

Housing issues, a major infrastructure project and a vote on accepting state grant money for the downtown street realignment are all on Monday's agenda for the Fort Dodge City Council.

The council will begin its work at 5 p.m. in the Municipal Building, 819 First Ave. S., with a workshop discussion on a potential housing revitalization effort on the city's northwest side.

The effort would mostly target the residential area south of Third Avenue Northwest, according to a report to the council from Stephanie Houk Sheetz, the senior city planner, and Vickie Reeck, community development manager.

They wrote that federal and state grant funds are no longer available to do the kinds of overhauls accomplished in the Park View and Lincoln neighborhoods.

Houk Sheetz and Reeck propose to start working on a plan for the neighborhood next month.

The council's regular business meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Municipal Building.

During that session, the council will consider approving assistance for a revamped duplex proposal.

The proposal calls for building 12 duplexes in the area of Second Avenue South, A Street and U.S. Highway 169. The development would be called Windstone Circle.

Earlier this year, a Windstone Circle plan was introduced and later dropped by its developer, Mike McCarville, of Fort Dodge.

Jim Kesterson, of Fort Dodge, is the developer of the new version of Windstone Circle, according to Reeck. She said each unit in the new proposal would have two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a two-car garage. However, the units would be smaller than the ones that were originally proposed, she said.

During Monday's meeting, the council will consider approving an agreement to use up to $150,000 in tax increment financing money to pay for a sanitary sewer to serve the duplexes.

Tax increment financing occurs when increased property tax revenue from a designated area is set aside to be reinvested in that area. The council previously declared the site of the duplexes as an area where tax increment financing can be used.

In an unrelated matter, the council will vote on accepting $711,600 from the state Department of Transportation for the downtown street realignment that will link First and Second avenues south. Mayor Matt Bemrich agreed not to veto a $300,000 reconstruction of part of Sixth Avenue Northwest in exchange for assurances that the majority of council members will vote to accept the grants.

The council is also expected to act on a contract for sanitary sewer improvements needed to serve the North Central Ag Industrial Park. Woodruff Construction, of Fort Dodge, has submitted the apparent low bid of about $3 million.

Following the business meeting, there will be a workshop discussion on a potential new data and telephone system for the city government.

The Hydroelectric Dam will be the focus of another workshop discussion.



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