Houses bought to make room for intersection

A trio of real estate purchases that will eventually clear the way for the realignment of an awkward Fort Dodge intersection was approved by the City Council Monday.

While the majority of council members supported the land buys as a step toward planning for a future that may include heavier traffic on 10th Avenue North, three members argued that the roughly $200,000 expended to purchase the property would be better spent on resurfacing more streets.

The intersection in question is that of 10th Avenue North and 16th Street. The western portion of 10th Avenue North is farther north than the eastern side of that street at the intersection.

On a 4-3 vote, the council purchased the following properties:

  • 1535 10th Ave. N. from Paul and Denise Luhman for $87,825
  • 1602 10th Ave. N. from David and Lisa Wilson for $75,000
  • 1606 10th Ave. N. from Nicholas A. McCarville and Agnes Piriou for $35,000

Councilman Kim Alstott. Dave Flattery, Andy Fritz, and Robert ”Barney” Patterson voted yes. Councilmen Dean Hill, Marl Taylor and Don Wilson voted no.

Taylor said he believes tearing down three houses at a time when the city is trying to encourage the construction of new homes makes no sense.

He also estimated that buying and tearing down the three houses will cost $250,000. He said he would rather see that money spent in another area ”where they’re driving on gravel and potholes.”

Fritz said the council has already spent about $300,000 to fix a section of Sixth Avenue Northwest that serves far fewer people than 10th Avenue North and 16th Street do.

Flattery said the realignment, spurred initially by an upcoming sanitary sewer project in the area, is a good plan because the presence of the new middle school on 10th Avenue North will lead to more traffic on that street.