Fort Dodge council supports Kemna plan

An overhaul of a Fort Dodge car dealership’s property received the support of the City Council Monday.

Kemna Auto Fort Dodge proposes to invest $5 million in new buildings for its main showroom, the Auto Smart used car business and a Valvoline oil change shop. The company has already torn down a small building that once housed a Mexican grocery store.

Council members voted to reimburse Kemna Auto for expenses it incurs for environmental assessment and cleanup at its property at First Avenue South and 25th Street. The city will pay the dealership $240,000 over three years.

Such cleanup assistance has traditionally been offered by the city government to businesses that redevelop existing properties instead of building on undeveloped ground, Vickie Reeck, the community development manager, wrote in a report to the elected officials.

The council also voted to buy some property from the dealership which is needed for an upcoming storm sewer project for $120,000.

No one from the dealership addressed the council Monday. The action related to Kemna was packaged with many other things in the council’s consent agenda, which was passed without discussion.

Councilman Dave Flattery, who participated in the meeting by phone, voted against the consent agenda but didn’t say why.

Also on Monday, the council approved the final plats for lots on which four new houses will be constructed near the intersection of North 22nd Street and 25th Avenue North.

The council had unanimously rejected that plan during its July 8 meeting because the developer, Iowa growth Investors Inc., of Polk City, wanted a waiver from the city rule that would make it responsible for building a short section of road.

Eric Eide, the Fort Dodge attorney representing Iowa Growth Investors, told the council that the road isn’t necessary to serve the proposed houses. He said there would be no current benefit to the developers to have that road.

The council voted 6-1 to approve the final plat with the condition that no additional access from the housing area onto 25 or 28th avenues north be provided. Councilmen Kim Alstott. Andy Fritz, Dean Hill, Robert ”Barney” Patterson, Don Wilson and Flattery voted yes. Councilman Mark Taylor voted no.

The council also voted 6-1 to buy property in the area from Iowa Growth Investors for the future construction of a road between 15th and 22nd streets. Taylor also cast the lone dissenting vote on that issue.