Keeping time

Clock tower project moving forward

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Some of the decay and wear on the Webster County Courthouse is visible in this image taken Tuesday. The Webster County supervisors awarded a contract Tuesday for engineering work to repair the structure.

The project to renovate the clock tower atop the Webster County Courthouse moved a little closer to starting Tuesday after the Webster County Board of Supervisors approved a services agreement with an engineering, planning and consulting company.

The services agreement with Shuck-Britson Inc., of Des Moines, has an estimated cost of $432,800.

The board unanimously approved the agreement.

“This services agreement is for the work plan and design fee estimates for the clock tower renovation project,” Supervisor Nick Carlson said.

He added that the agreement includes a proposed timeline for the project.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Workers from Snyder & Associates examine the Webster County Courthouse clock tower on a crane from McGough Inc. Shuck-Britson, of Des Moines, an affiliate of Synder & Associates, was hired to perform an examination of the clock tower including physical measurements, a 3-D scan, and photos taken by a drone.

“We were planning on having a couple public information meetings, hopefully in July and August,” Carlson said. “We’ll have more information then.”

Documents provided by the supervisors outline several project phases. The first phase, public engagement, will last from June until August.

Phase two, which will last from July to September, will include revealing design plans and specifications as well as an estimate of probable construction costs.

The third phase will focus on construction and will last from September through November.

Bidding and negotiations will be next in phase four, culminating in the actual construction phase. According to the documents, construction is scheduled to start in January 2020 and last throughout the entire year.

Shuck-Britson has been conducting studies to repair the county’s iconic clock tower. The firm was hired for that work last September.

In other action, the supervisors approved a revised agreement for the Webster County Telecommunications Board, which oversees the local 911 dispatch center.

Carlson explained that the updated agreement “stems from the state of Iowa requesting that the Telecommunications Board create an executive committee within the Telecommunications Board that will handle confidential information regarding law enforcement.”

The agreement was approved unanimously and without additional comment.

The Fort Dodge City Council approved the agreement Monday evening, but requested two changes in it. The council asked that the wording be changed to reflect the fact that a representative of the Fire Department can be appointed to the board. Fire Chief Steve Hergenreter is already a city representative on the board.

The council also asked for that the name of the executive committee be changed to reflect that it is an advisory panel to handle confidential law enforcement matters, and will not be managing the dispatch center.

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