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Sewer project begins

Engineers brief residents on 10th Ave. project

September 18, 2012
By BILL SHEA ( , Messenger News

A nearly $170,000 effort to improve drainage on part of 10th Avenue North in Fort Dodge is starting this week.

An employee of Hovey Construction Inc., of Fort Dodge, was already cutting into the pavement of that road Monday afternoon.

And on Monday evening, engineers explained the project to about 14 people at a meeting in the Municipal Building, 819 First Ave. S.

Article Photos

David Swanson, an employee of Hovey Construction Inc., uses a large circular saw to slice into the pavement of 10th Avenue North east of 32nd Street Monday afternoon. The cuts he made in the pavement were the first step in digging trenches to install new storm sewers.

The project will benefit 22 homes on the south side of 10th Avenue North, east of 32nd Street. Crews will have to cut trenches into 10th Avenue North at five or six places in order to connect the properties on the south side of the road with a large storm sewer already in place on the north side.

It will also involve what Scott Meinders, a civil engineer for the city, called ''a lot of finesse work to make the water drain properly.''

''You will be able to get in and out of your driveway at all times except when they're replacing your culvert, if you have one,'' Meinders told the 10th Avenue North residents at the meeting.

But the residents may have to take a circuitous route to their driveways because of the trenches that will be cut into the road. Depending on where those trenches are, some residents will have to use Samson Avenue, also called Webster County Road P63, to get to 10th Avenue North.

''That's the only choice we have,'' Meinders said.

Mail delivery and garbage collection should not be affected by the project, according to City Engineer Chad Schaeffer.

Hovey Construction has a $166,936.80 contract for the job. The work is to be completed by Nov. 23.

Next year, 10th Avenue North between 32nd Street and the eastern city limits will be repaved.

The storm sewer project has been discussed since at least 2010. That year, the city government borrowed $150,000 through a general obligation bond issue to pay for it. The original plan was to have the property owners who will benefit from the improved drainage pay off that debt with assessments added to their property tax bills.

However, former City Council candidate Richard Higgins circulated a petition signed by 88 percent of the property owners, which triggered a state law requiring a super majority of six of the seven council members to vote in favor of levying the assessments. That petition put the project on hold.

This year, the City Council decided to do the project without levying assessments. Money to pay off the debt incurred for it will be taken from the storm water utility account, which is funded with a monthly fee paid by all property owners. Most home owners pay $3 a month in storm water utility fees.

About $22,000 will have to be taken from the storm water utility account every year for eight years to pay off the project's debt, City Manager David Fierke told the council last week.



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