Fort Dodge City Council sets priorities

More downtown cameras, street projects on wish list

An expanded security camera system, continued improvements to Third Avenue Northwest and a new skateboard park are all on the wish list for Fort Dodge City Council members.

During a nearly three-hour workshop Wednesday evening, the elected officials zeroed in on some of the projects they would like to see completed in the next couple of years.

”It’s very constructive,” Councilman Dave Flattery said following the session. ”It’s important that we set a course for the future.”

He said such planning sessions have been held for 10 years and they have produced results. The reconstruction of Wraywood Drive in about 2012 was a result of one of those planning workshops, he said. The project was identified as a priority by council members during a workshop and the city staff then found a way to pay for the project and get it done.

New initiatives

Expanding the new downtown camera system was identified as a priority initiative. The downtown camera system went live late last year. The city government and Main Street Fort Dodge split the $195,176 cost.

In the few months it has been in service, the system has helped the police make several arrests. It has also helped officers resolve some less dramatic incidents. Police Chief Roger Porter told the council Wednesday that it was used to figure out what happened during a downtown crash in which both drivers said they had the green light.

”We pulled it up on the camera and we could tell exactly who was telling the truth and who wasn’t,” he said.

Starting an aggressive effort to update the water distribution system was also identified as a priority initiative. The need for the effort was made clear by the numerous water main breaks this past winter, according to Chad Schaeffer, the city’s chief development officer whose responsibilities include infrastructure.

”Having public works guys out in the middle of the night every other night fixing water mains is unacceptable,” he said.

Street projects

The city already has a list of planned street and bridge projects.

This year’s work includes:

• Reconstruction of Third Avenue Northwest between the Hawkeye Avenue Bridge and Sixth Street Northwest.

• Repaving parts of 10 streets

• Reconstruction of First Street between First Avenue South and the bridge over Soldier Creek

• Reconstruction of the intersection of 21st Street and 2 1/2 Avenue North.

Future projects include repairs to Veterans Bridge on First Avenue South (2023), replacement of the Highland Park Avenue Bridge (2023), reconstruction of 14th Street and Eighth Avenue South (2024) and reconstruction of 15th Street between First and Third avenues north (2026)

Council members added these projects to the list:

• Reconstructing Third Avenue Northwest between Seventh Street Northwest and U.S. Highway 169

• Rebuilding Central Avenue between First and Third streets

• Reconstructing the intersection of Kenyon Road and Avenue C

• Reconstructing Central Avenue between Ninth and 11th streets

The timing of those projects has not been determined.

Other projects

Work in the parks dominated the list of other capital improvement projects identified as important by council members.

The city has a skateboard park beneath the Seventh Street bridge that opened in about 2000. Creating a new park, perhaps at the former Sunkissed Meadows Golf Course was identified as a priority.

Also on the council’s wish list is a shelter house with bathrooms in Schmoker Park near the Rosedale Rapids Aquatic Center at 10th Avenue North and 32nd Street.


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