Humboldt approves request for aquatic center

HUMBOLDT – The Humboldt City Council approved a funding request from the Friends of the Parks Monday.

Friends President Mike Worthington said for the past seven years the organization has been the conduit for some of the private funds raised for the city’s parks. He spoke to the council primarily about the Humboldt Family Aquatic Center.

“We started our project with a loan from the USDA for $250,000 to help pay for some of the funding for the project,” he said.

The balance for the loan is around $26,700 and Worthington asked the city for that amount. The funds would come out of an estate fund set up for children related activities.

City Administrator Aaron Burnett said the money could come from the $30,000 in interest the account generates.

Worthington also said there is about $83,000 in pledges towards Friends which has not been collected yet. The group hopes to collect about $15,000 of that and the rest would have to be written off.

“We are this close to finishing this up so we would like to wrap it up if we can,” Worthington said.

The council approved the request.

In other business, the council accepted the bid and awarded a contract to Blacktop Service Co. for the 2014 Eighth Avenue South Street and Utilities Improvement Project. Blacktop’s bid of $164,463 was the lowest of two bids received and came in under the engineer’s estimate of $240,000.

The council was updated on the Sumner Avenue Bridge Project by Stan Stallsmith, project manager for WHKS & Co., Mason City. Stallsmith said a bid letting is scheduled for Feb. 18 by the Iowa Department of Transportation. After the bid letting the council would need to act on accepting the bid. It takes about a month to get all the paperwork ready before the contractor can start. Stallsmith said if the council acted quickly the contractor can get started as early as the end of April. There is a May 19 late start date and if the contractor doesn’t start until then, completion would be mid-October, he said.

Stallsmith also said he recently got word from the IDOT that the West Des Moines River is a potential habitat for the Topeka shiner, an endangered species of minnow. If that is the case, it would hamper the project, he said. He is awaiting further information from the state.