FD Council sets stage for assistance to big projects

A step to providing assistance to the development of a new industrial park and a planned renovation of the Warden Plaza downtown was taken by the Fort Dodge City Council Monday.

The council unanimously amended the Center City and Industrial Park Urban Renewal Areas to include the Crosstown Industrial Park, a development called Triton Plaza and the Warden Plaza. That move makes it possible for the council to use tax increment financing to support those projects.

Tax increment financing occurs when increased property tax revenue from a designated area is set aside to be reinvested in that area.

The industrial park will be located on 140 acres of ground north of the Decker Truck Line Inc. campus on Fifth Avenue South. When it’s fully developed, the park could be the site of 800 jobs, city officials have estimated.

Triton Plaza will be located on the south side of Kenyon Road between the water tower and U.S. Highway 169. Plans for the site include a hotel, office space, stores and apartments.

Landover Corp., of Lake Barrington, Ill., plans to redevelop the Warden Plaza in the 900 block of First Avenue South. Its proposal calls for stores on the first floor, offices on the second floor and apartments on the third through eighth floors.

Councilman Dave Flattery described all three as ”very significant projects for the city.”

Also on Monday, the council trimmed the size of the Blanden Memorial Art Museum Board of Trustees from nine members to seven. With nine members, the board had some difficulty getting a quorum to conduct business.

Usually, a move to alter a city board would require three votes of the council. However, council members voted Monday to set aside that procedure and adopt the change on one vote.

Council members also filled some vacancies on the police and fire departments.

Matthew Burns and Nathan Eldredge were hired as police officers.

Burns is a native of Urbandale. He has an associate’s degree from Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Grandview University in Des Moines.

Eldredge is a Fort Dodge native and Marine Corps veteran. He is an employee of Fort Dodge Machine & Supply Co. who is taking criminal justice classes at Iowa Central Community College.

Josh Sneller was hired as a firefighter. He has a bachelor’s degree in health science from South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D. He has paramedic and firefighter II certifications with additional training in hazardous materials operations. He is a paid on-call firefighter in Ankeny and Polk City.