New district plans upkeep of Fifth Avenue South corridor

Group hires landscape contractor

Leaders of a new group dedicated to keeping a stretch of the Fifth Avenue South Corridor of Commerce looking good moved Wednesday to hire a company to handle some basic maintenance starting this spring.

Members of the Corridor Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District Board also elected their officers during their first meeting.

That district extends along Fifth Avenue South between 15th and 32nd streets. It was created by the City Council late last year in response to a petition from owners of commercial property there.

Within that district each commercial property owner will pay an extra property tax of $1 per $1,000 of taxable value. That levy is expected to generate about $34,000 a year to pay for upkeep within the district.

Nestle Purina PetCare, 2400 Fifth Ave. S., and a couple of houses on Fifth Avenue South near 15th Street are not included in the district and will not receive services from it.

The district’s board, appointed by the City Council on Feb. 12, consists of :

• Matt Johnson, representing Fort Dodge Ford Toyota;

• Curt Bacon, representing Curt Bacon Auto Body;

• Lucas Battcher, representing Mineral City Mill & Grill;

• Joyce Lennon, representing Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1856;

• Terry Dooley, representing First State Bank;

• Keith Osterberg, representing Peoples Credit Union;

• Anita Harris, representing Bomgaar’s.

Johnson was elected president, Bacon was elected vice president and Lennon was elected secretary/treasurer.

The board voted to hire Smitty’s Lawn and Landscape, of Fort Dodge, to handle snow removal, mowing and weed control for one year at a cost of $22,500.

“There’s a lot to do out there,” said Lori Branderhorst, the city’s director of parks, recreation and forestry.

The company will work in the public right-of-way between the curb and the property line of the businesses along Fifth Avenue South.

The board directed Johnson and Branderhorst to meet with representatives of the company before the proposed contract is submitted to the City Council for action at its March 26 meeting.

If the council approves the contract, Smitty’s Lawn and Landscape will assume responsibility for the corridor maintenance on April 1.