Planning a ‘vacation’

A portion of First Avenue North in downtown Fort Dodge may be closed to support the expansion of a business, but the proposed closure will not include any part of the street that’s now being rebuilt.

Josephson Manufacturing Co. is asking the city government to give up part of the dead end section of First Avenue North that is west of Third Street. The company, which makes radiators and air coolers, plans to buy some nearby properties and expand one of its buildings into that area.

The city’s Plan and Zoning Commission voted Tuesday to recommend that the City Council vacate that portion of the street. Jo Seltz and Lisa Wilson were absent from the otherwise unanimous vote.

Commission members said the vacation of the street should only occur if the company first buys the adjacent land it needs for the proposed expansion.

They also indicated that Josephson Manufacturing must reach an agreement with Alfred Huebsch, the owner of property at 215 First Ave. N., that assures him of access to his business. Commission member Steve Kersten said that agreement must be written in a way that also guarantees access to any future owners of the property.

Following the commission meeting, Andy Josephson, a representative of the company, said it’s too early to speak publicly about the expansion plan details.

Josephson Manufacturing Co., established in 1989, makes radiators, air coolers and oil coolers for equipment such as agricultural sprayers, forklifts, trenching machines, rock crushers and hay balers. It is located at 216 Central Ave.