Trail, storm sewer contracts awarded by FD council

A new section of trail will be built and some massive storm sewers will be installed as a result of contracts awarded Monday night by the Fort Dodge City Council.

The council hired Nels Pederson Co. Inc., of Badger, to build a new alignment on the north end of the Fort Dodge Nature Trail at a cost of $73,761.25. The new trail section will bypass the property of BHJ USA, a business many area residents will remember as the former Omaha Cold Storage, and will end near Webster County Road P59. The trail, which for decades reached the county road, has halted at a dead end near the BHJ USA property since the company expanded in 2012.

Originally, tax increment financing revenue generated by the expanded business was to pay for the trail relocation. However, the facility isn’t generating enough property tax revenue to pay for the work.

”It wasn’t assessed high enough to create enough increment,” said Mayor Matt Bemrich.

Money from a Vision Iowa trails grant will be used to pay for the work, according to Chad Schaeffer, the city’s director of engineering, business affairs and community growth.

Councilman Terry Moehnke said that BHJ USA is ”in breach of contract” because it committed to an agreement in which tax money generated by its project was supposed to pay for the trail work.

”This is something legally we’re going to have to pursue,” he said.

Also on Monday, the council hired Rasch Construction Inc., of Fort Dodge, to install storm sewers along First Avenue South between Veterans Bridge and 25th Street at a cost of $621,804. The company was the sole bidder for the job.

Schaeffer said the new storm sewers will take water to the recently constructed detention pond beneath the bridge. He said the pipes will measure 60 inches and 48 inches in diameter. They will drain an area in which the streets have often been flooded during heavy rains.

In other business, the council hired McClure Engineering Co., of Fort Dodge, to design a series of sanitary sewer improvements at a cost of $2,135,300.

The company has identified nearly $80 million worth of needed sanitary sewer upgrades. Paying for that work will eventually increase monthly sewer bills by $15, to be levied in three installments of $5.

Allers Associates Architects, of Fort Dodge, was awarded a $10,000 contract to provide design services for repairing the roof at the city’s central garage, 3001 Eighth Ave. S.