Construction of a new CVS/pharmacy on Fifth Avenue South near 21st Street was eased by Fort Dodge City Council action Monday.
The council voted unanimously to give up part of an alley and to rezone the site of the store, which is expected to open in 2014.
The alley runs north and south in a block bordered by Fifth Avenue South, South 21st Street, Sixth Avenue South and South 20th Street. The council voted to give up city ownership of the northern half of the alley. The store and its parking lot will one day cover that section. A new east-west alley will be created behind the store to ensure that garbage trucks can reach homes there.
In other move related to the CVS/pharmacy, the council rezoned the property on Fifth Avenue South between 20th and 21st streets to arterial commercial. Previously, that property had residential and commercial designations.
Usually abandoning an alley and rezoning property requires three affirmative votes of the council. However, at the request of Anne Walters of FEPH - Acqusitions Fund II, the pharmacy chain's preferred developer, the council waived the other votes and made both actions final Monday night.
The former Sun Market and Deli II and the old Tequila's restaurant will be demolished to make room for the store.
In another zoning matter, the council rezoned the site of a planned family entertainment center near First Avenue South and 32nd Street to arterial commercial. The site previously had heavy industrial, mobile home, agricultural and residential status. The council also waived the second and third votes on that rezoning.
Also on Monday the council voted 4-3 to reject a plan to add the cost of mowing an overgrown lawn to the property tax bill of the owner.
Councilman Dean Hill said city employees didn't follow proper procedure to notify property owner Brian Egemo, of Badger, about the problem at 910 Fourth Ave. N.
''I'm not saying he's not at fault, because he was,'' Hill said. ''But we have to follow proper protocol.''
Hill and councilmen Andy Fritz, Mark Taylor and Don Wilson voted against adding the $185 cost to the property taxes. Councilmen Kim Alstott, Dave Flattery and Robert ''Barney'' Patterson voted in favor of doing that.
The city government will not have a way to recover the money, which came from its general fund.
In other business, the council made a partial payment to Wicks Construction, of Decorah, for work on the G Street hill. The company was paid $17,146. But Taylor said the city is holding onto about $1,000 until the company fixes a drainage problem that causes water to puddle on part of the sidewalk at the base of the hill.
The council also ended a lawsuit filed by a contractor over the Fifth Avenue South project. Concrete Technologies Inc., of Urbandale, sued the city claiming it was owed $72,000.
The city previously paid the company $54,000 and it agreed to drop its lawsuit after the council voted to accept the project, which it did Monday.