Council to mull Warden, connector

Two major downtown initiatives will have the attention of the Fort Dodge City Council when it meets Monday.

The elected officials will hear a proposal for redeveloping the vacant Warden Plaza in the 900 block of First Avenue South.

They will also consider awarding a contract to build a downtown street realignment that’s a key element of the crosstown connector project.

The council will start with a pair of workshop discussions at 5 p.m. in the Municipal Building, 819 First Ave. S.

One of those workshops will be about the Warden Plaza redevelopment proposal.

No details of that proposal were released Friday.

The Warden Plaza has been vacant for about 10 years. The last apartment residents moved out of the building in 2004. It was briefly owned by Harvest Baptist Church.

It was built in about 1920 as an annex to the nearby Wahkonsa Hotel which is today’s Wahkonsa Manor.

The second workshop will focus on sanitary sewer improvements.

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

During that session, the council will consider awarding a contract for reconstructing First Avenue South between Fourth and Ninth streets. The work will include a new street connection between First and Second avenues south at Sixth Street, where a roundabout intersection will be created.

Wicks Construction, of Decorah, submitted the only bid for the work, according to Chad Schaeffer, the city’s director of engineering, business affairs and community growth. That company submitted a bid of $3,806,344.46.

Other items to come before the council for action are a proposed contract for improving the bleachers at Harlan and Hazel Rogers Sports Complex and an agreement to provide $39,900 worth of assistance to the Iowa Outdoors Store for an indoor archery range under construction.

An agreement with the Fort Dodge Community School District in which the school system will help pay the salaries of police officers assigned to the schools will also be considered by the council. That agreement has already been approved by the district’s Board of Education.