County easement helps keep Fort Dodge trails moving

A new trail planned by Fort Dodge is moving along on schedule with help from the Webster County Board of Supervisors.

The supervisors approved some needed construction easements during their regular meeting Tuesday.

“First I want to say thank you to you all for promptly addressing this, because it’s a short time frame we have to address this issue,” said Tony Trotter, Fort Dodge city engineer. “This all came together pretty fast, and we really appreciate to have you guys take it upon yourselves to give us these easements on such short notice, because I got this to you last week.”

The city learned recently that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had funding available to extend the riverfront trail which currently ends just downstream of the little dam, Trotter said.

The trail will now extend about a mile farther south.

This will go onto land the county purchased last year, Supervisor Mark Campbell said. Future plans for the next phase will involve the county helping to complete the loop.

The current project required construction easements on three county parcels, and two permenant easements so the city can maintain a 72-inch box culvert it’s going to install, Trotter said.

The Army Corps funding is a 50 percent match. The Fort Dodge City Council voted to provide the $2.1 million match at a May meeting. The funds will also provide some new features at the former Sunkissed Meadows Golf Course.

The Board of Supervisors also put off plans to tear down a dilapidated property south of Harcourt, in what was once the town of Lanyon.

A contractor has been found to demolish and clean up the property, said county Planning and Zoning Administrator Chad Bahr.

However, the county was asked to hold off on the demolition, Bahr said, by someone wanting to buy those properties himself.

“Since this is a large amount for the demo and cleanup, I think it’s reasonable that the county could defer signing the contract, to give this or any other individual time to contact the owner and see if something could be gained there,” Bahr said.

The property at 20486 393rd St. became an issue due to complaints received by the county, Bahr said. The county performed an inspection last September, and tried to reach the owner with no success.

The county received two bids for the cleanup work, and selected one for $18,000 from Jones Rock and Dirt of Webster City for demolition and cleanup of a house and two small garages, Bahr said.

“I spoke with the gentleman interested purchasing the property, it sounds like he wants to get ownership as quickly as possible, and get the property cleaned up yet this summer,” Campbell said.

The supervisors will revisit the question in 30 days to see if the potential owner has been able to make progress.