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Supervisors OK Nature Center agreement, elected official raises

Webster County Supervisors approved a service agreement to design the Webster County Nature Center as well as Compensation Board recommendations for elected officials’ salaries Tuesday.

Webster County Nature Center

Supervisors approved a service agreement with ISG to enter the first phase of design for the Webster County Nature Center, a contract worth $22,250.

“This is an extension of (what we worked on) about two years ago when we had updated all facilities and master plans,” said Matt Cosgrove, director of Webster County Conservation. “This is one of the lead projects we wanted to get the ball rolling on.”

ISG proposal documents will explore and vet a variety of options.

The proposed Nature Center building, 10,000 to 15,000 square feet, could include additional administrative and support space, educational classrooms, exhibit areas, a community room, visual sightlines to the Des Moines River and space for a retailer/outfitter. Nature Center grounds could include 3.5 acres of trails, outdoor learning and experience spaces, a courtyard/amphitheater, river access and stormwater demonstration areas.

Based on ISG’s proposal, the firm will work closely with Snyder and Associates, of Ankeny, to prepare a preliminary site concept plan that will address the building’s location, site access and configuration.

Preliminary Nature Center building costs have been estimated at around $4.5 million, according to the proposal.

A preliminary timeline estimates bids will be solicited in January 2022, with construction slated to start between March and November of next year.

Elected official raises

Webster County elected officials will be getting a slight raise in the next fiscal year, according to a Compensation Board agreement approved by Supervisors Tuesday.

The salary raises agreed to are:

• Supervisor: from $40,170 to $40,575.

• Supervisors Chairman: $41,170 to $41,615.

• County Attorney: $123,600 to $124,845.

• Sheriff: $98,880 to $100,860.

• County Auditor: $71,751 to $73,544.

• County Treasurer: $71,151 to $73,544.

• County Recorder: $71,151 to $73,544.

The modest raises were in line with cost of living allowance justifications, said Board Chairman Dale Struecker.

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