SSMID backs Frontier Days, fencing project

The Frontier Days Parade and a proposed new fence will receive financial support from a downtown Fort Dodge improvement group.

The Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District board voted Tuesday to contribute $750 to become the sponsor of the June 1 parade.

Kerk Friday, the chairman of the Frontier Days Committee, told the board that another sponsor had withdrawn. He asked that the district become the new sponsor because the parade happens downtown.

The board voted unanimously to contribute the money.

After the meeting, Friday said the sponsorship money pays for any supplies needed for the parade.

The board also voted unanimously to contribute $1,362 toward the cost of a new fence to surround an exterior basement entrance to a building at Central Avenue and 11th Street owned by Brooke Bickford, of Fort Dodge. That entrance and another one like it at the same building are now surrounded by wooden fences. The new fence would be metal.

The district has paid up to 75 percent of fencing costs for qualifying projects, up to a maximum of $5,000, according to Stephanie Houk Sheetz, the senior city planner.

As a condition of awarding that money, the board specified that the northernmost of the two basement entrances be closed and the stairway filled in with cement.

The board had previously agreed to contribute $5,000 to Market on Central this year, and it made that action final with a unanimous vote Tuesday. This year’s first market will be on June 8 in downtown. Board member Cheryl O’Hern, an organizer of the market, said 35 vendors have confirmed that they will participate.

In other business, the board continued to plan for a downtown marketing video featuring computer generated three dimensional images of buildings and the proposed crosstown connector street realignment that would join First and Second avenues south near Sixth Street.

Luke Snyder, a designer with Snyder & Associates of Ankeny, displayed the latest sample of what will be a 10 to 12 minute video.

Snyder presented a proposal from ME & V, of Cedar Falls, which is offering to film six interviews for the video for a cost of $17,500.

The board directed Snyder to renegotiate with ME & V. Jim Bird, the vice chairman of the board, said $17,500 ”sounds a little steep” for conducting those interviews.

Board members still hope to have the video completed by early June.

The board has agreed to pay Snyder & Associates up to $26,500 for the video.

The Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District is a roughly 33-block downtown area in which property owners pay an extra tax to finance upgrades there.