Humboldt council discusses Downtown Plaza

HUMBOLDT – The new Downtown Plaza was discussed by the Humboldt City Council Monday.

The city had two abandoned buildings torn down at the site on Sumner Avenue and a plaza was recently installed. However there have been problems with the concrete at the plaza. The problems have been addressed, but the workmanship is still below expectations, said City Administrator Aaron Burnett.

Trying to fix the problem would probably create additional problems such as trying to match the color of the concrete and the city could end up in court against the contractor, Stoney Creek Landscapes of Webster City. The concrete work was actually done by a subcontractor but Stoney Creek claims part of the problem was caused by the city pressing to get the work done before July 4 when the weather was too hot, according to Burnett.

Burnett said pressure was put on the contractor, but when the July 4 date was missed, there was no furtherpressure.

“There is a lot of disagreement in how those conversations actually went,” he said. “I don’t think there is any real good solution to this.”

The council agreed to accept the work but the contractor would not be notified of future projects.

In a related matter, the council considered a proposal to build an apartment complex on the green area behind the plaza. Kevin Skow is proposing a four- unit apartment complex there. Each unit would have two bedrooms and a garage. The front of the plaza would remain open space Burnett said.

“I’d much rather see someone come in and put a business there if at all possible,” said Councilman Joel Goodell.

Councilman Darrell Rusher said the complex would add to the tax base.

“If you are going to put retail in that’s the place you are going to put it,” said Councilman Joe Hadar. “But on the other hand how many times have we had somebody come in and say hey I want to put a $300,000 building in town.”

Councilman John Sleiter said he would be more open to the proposal if it included office space. The city has plenty of other places for apartment complexes, he said. However Burnett said apartments generate more income for owners than office space.

The council was also concerned about the appearance of the building.

The council decided to let the public comment on the proposal and set a public hearing at the next regular council meeting in two weeks.

In other business, Burnett updated the council on the new Seventh Avenue South Addition. The developer has agreed to finance four houses there and the Humboldt County Housing Development Corp. will finance the other four. The houses will be priced under $200,000. There is a tremendous need regionally for houses in that price range, Burnett said. The council agreed to provide water and street infrastructure development in the area.