Video will tout central FD

Interviews with business owners and computer-generated three-dimensional images of downtown Fort Dodge will be featured in a new video being created to promote the central part of the city.

The video is being developed for the Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District, and that group’s leaders got a first look at a couple minutes of it Thursday.

Snyder & Associates, of Ankeny, is producing the video.

Wade Greiman, a project director with Snyder & Associates, said the notion that downtown is the heart of a successful city is the theme of the video.

”We think that’s extremely important based on our experience in other communities,” he told the district’s board of directors Thursday.

Rich Seltz, the chairman of the district’s board, said the video will promote downtown ”in general.”

But it will show the proposed street realignment at the heart of the crosstown connector project. A portion of the video displayed Thursday shows Second Avenue South curving northward to join First Avenue South in a roundabout intersection at Sixth Street.

Linking First and Second avenues south was initially proposed in a downtown plan written by Camiros, of Chicago, Ill., and adopted by the City Council in 2008. The connection would route more traffic closer to Central Avenue and reduce the size of downtown, according to the consultants who wrote the plan. After the street connection is completed, First Avenue South would be converted to two-way traffic downtown to create a two-way street for the length of the city.

The entire cost of the crosstown connector, including the downtown work, improvements on First Avenue South at its intersections with 25th and 29th streets, and a major storm sewer upgrade on the city’s east side, has been estimated at $17,962,000.

The storm sewer work on the east side is expected to start late this year, but the downtown portion has been delayed by opposition on the council. The city’s current capital improvement plan calls for finishing the project in 2017.

The video displayed Thursday also shows a roundabout intersection with a clock tower in the middle of it at First Avenue South and 12th Street.

The board urged Greiman to complete the video by June 1.

The SSMID board has agreed to pay Snyder & Associates up to $26,500 for the video and related marketing materials.

The district is a roughly 33-block downtown area in which property owners pay an extra tax to support improvements there.