Preserving Wilson Brewer Park

Council hears update on renovation needs for historic landmark

—Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Adri Sietstra Wilson Brewer Park Chairman Gary Groves speaks Monday night during the City Council of Webster City meeting.

Wilson Brewer Park Chairman Gary Groves presented the future needs of the park to members of the City Council of Webster City Monday evening.

Groves provided the council with information about the state of Wilson Brewer Park and the plans the committee has for future improvements and fundraising plans.

“This park is really a pretty important community asset that is overlooked as to value,” Groves said. ‘We must determine what value to the present and to the future there is in our past.”

The first area of focus, according to Groves, are the two cabins located on site. The committee wants to move the cabins across the park and place them on new foundations.

According to Groves, the WBPC hopes to complete renovations to the park in a specific order based on need. The cabins are the committee’s number one priority. The cabins will be completed in a three-phase project: laying the concrete foundation for the two cabins’ relocation, moving the cabins across the park to the new location and finally completing renovations in the cabins.

The estimated cost to complete the first phase is $130,000.

Once work on the cabins has been completed, the next project the committee hopes to undertake is the Harmony School. The cost to rehab the school is estimated at $20,000.

Representatives with Boone Valley Housing have made their intentions clear that they want to contribute to the upkeep of the school.

The third project will be work on Mulberry Center Church. The church will require an estimated $5,000 more for other needs.

The fourth project on the park’s grounds will focus on the grounds themselves. Proposed plans include a walking path, more parking and handicap-accessible restrooms. The estimated cost for this portion of the project is $260,000.

The courthouse is slated to be the fifth project completed at Wilson Brewer Park. According to Groves, the cost to restore the courthouse is an estimated $75,000. $15,000 of this has been pledged for by local community organizations.

The sixth and final project the committee hopes to complete is the depot. Groves estimates this portion of the project to cost around $500,000.

With the end of the year approaching, Groves encouraged community members to consider giving back to the park through the Enhance Hamilton County Foundation. Donations are tax-deductible. Donors can also specify which building or project they would like their contribution to go to.

For more information about how to donate, contact Enhance Hamilton County Foundation Development Director Darcy Swon at (515) 835-0437.

The council approved the first reading of a proposed ordinance amending city ordinances pertaining to all night parking prohibited.

The first reading of a proposed ordinance amending the Hotel/Motel Tax portion of city ordinances was approved by the council.

The council approved a resolution authorizing the mayor and city clerk to enter into an agreement with Robb’s Tree & Stump Service, of Story City, providing for 2017-2018 tree trimming and removal services. Robb’s Tree & Stump Services was one of two request for proposal bids returned in the amount of $121,300.

A resolution authorizing the mayor and city clerk to enter into a $1,000,000 Rural Economic Development Loan Agreement with Mary Anne’s Specialty Foods, Inc. was approved.

A resolution authorizing entering into a purchase agreement with Civic Systems, LLC, of Madison, WI, for a Civic Systems “Connect” Software for Life Upgrade system for the utility office at the city was approved.

The council also approved authorizing procedures on city-owned property for asbestos removal and demolition for 1203 East Second St. and demolition for 1118 John St. and 601 Woolsey Ave.

Mayor John Hawkins reminded the public that the Hotel/Motel Tax Board will meet on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at city hall to observe presentations from H/M Tax Grant applicants. The presentations will be televised.

Hawkins also reminded individuals about the upcoming Shop with a Cop event. According to Hawkins, donations for the program will be accepted at the Webster City Police Department until Saturday, Dec. 16.

The next city council meeting will be held on Monday, Dec. 18 at 5:30 p.m.