FD council to address middle school, bar issues

The potential conversion of the former Phillips Middle School into an apartment building will be discussed by the Fort Dodge City Council on Monday.

The elected officials are also scheduled to review a recommendation to reject a liquor license for a proposed downtown bar and handle a variety of other business items.

The council’s work will begin at 5 p.m. in the Municipal Building, 819 First Ave. S., with a workshop session. That’s when the council members will discuss the future of Phillips Middle School, 1015 Fifth Ave. N.

That building and the former Fair Oaks Middle School, 416 S. 10th St., were replaced by the new middle school at 10th Avenue North and 32nd Street which opened this year.

In June, Foutch Brothers LLC, of Kansas City, Mo., was awarded an option to buy both buildings from the Fort Dodge Community School District for $1.

That option expires Dec. 17.

The firm hopes to turn both old schools into apartment buildings.

City Manager David Fierke said the Phillips Middle School project is eligible for a property tax abatement. He added that the developer is also requesting tax increment financing assistance that would be equal to a 10-year property tax abatement.

Fierke said the possibility of vacating the portion of Fourth Avenue North immediately south of the former school building will also be discussed. That street may be vacated to provide parking for the proposed apartments.

Also during the workshop period, the council will discuss the sanitary sewer evaluation study and the capital improvement plan, which lists the planned upgrades to streets, water lines and sewers.

The council’s regular business meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Municipal Building.

During that session, the council will consider a liquor license application for a proposed new establishment at 520 Central Ave. that would be called Lots of Love. Police Chief Tim Carmody has recommended that the license be rejected because neither of the applicants passed a background check.

Other items to be acted on include Fire Department promotions, equipment purchases for the Public Works Department and various zoning changes.