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City asked to comply with ruling

Chambers: ‘Put in road that complies with city’s own rules’

September 5, 2012
Anne Blankenship ( , The Daily Freeman Journal

The City Council of Webster City had a brief agenda Tuesday night, but also heard from local residents about items not on the night's agenda.

Attorney Pat Chambers appeared on behalf of Gerald and Bev Huisman and asked the council to begin to consider compliance with a court order filed in March 2010.

In that order, Chambers said the city was "permanently enjoined from maintaining and allowing usage of the existing roadway" at the lot on Bicentennial Court.

Gerald and Bev Huisman filed the suit in 2008 seeking to protect the value of their property at 305 Bicentennial Court, which borders property the city reportedly planned to use to create a new access from Bicentennial Court to private, unplated land. That land is owned by the Gillette family, which sold a parcel of land to the city as part of the Boone River Recreational Trail project, according to an 2008 account from the Daily Freeman-Journal. The proposed road would have given access to the Gillette property, which lost its lane access as part of the new trail.

Chambers said he was also appearing on behalf the Gillette family who have a contract with the term in it that requires the city to provide access to the Gillette property out onto Bicentennial Court.

"The essence of our request is that the city put in a road that complies with its own rules for streets, sidewalks and driveways,"?Chambers said. "What they have now is mud."

Chambers said he wasn't sure of the city's intent but after the court ruling, the city removed the hard surface road they had put in prior to the suit.

"I don't want anybody to get the idea the hard surface was acceptable - it's not. But it certainly was a better situation than the mud hole that was created.

"This is the only access to the Gillette property and they farm that property,"?he said. "So they have to get in and out, and all they're doing is just digging deeper ruts,"?Chambers said.

He added that the roadway is also a very convenient and well-used access to the Boone River Trail.

"It's only about 50 yards from Bicentennial Court to the bike trail at that location,"?he said.

Chambers said he requested that the city begin to get incompliance for the access road. If not, Chambers said, that the only alternative for the Huismans would be to begin a contempt action and for the Gillettes to bring an action to compel the city's compliance with its contractual obligation.

Mayor Janet Adams said the City Council would take the request under advisement.

Apology wanted

Paul Dahl, former Kendall Young Library director, asked City Manager Ed Sadler for an apology.

"Since I am now teaching Introduction to Ethical Conflicts at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, I'm going to request the city manager to issue an apology to me,"?he said.

Dahl said he had a conflict with the county attorney last year and said Sadler involved himself in the conflict.

"His comment to me was 'You're a new resident. You haven't been here long enough to know what's going on,'"?Dahl said. He also alleged that Sadler made the same remark on other occasions, including when Dahl applied for but was not selected for the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Dahl said Sadler had not talked to him since he left his position at the library.

"I thought we had a good enough relationship that he would speak to me in some fashion,"?he said. "So I would just like an apology from the city manager."

New appointees

The council appointed Laurie Graham to serve a term on the Webster City Historic Committee. Graham's term will end June 1, 2014. Betty Eilers and Charles Smith were also named to the committee to serve until June 1, 2016.

Proclamation signed

Sept. 10 through 15 was proclaimed Doodle?Bug Week in Webster City by Adams. The proclamation coincides with the 26th annual Doodle Bug Reunion which will be held Sept. 13 through 15 at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds.

Doodle Bug scooters were manufactured in Webster City in the 1940s. Enthusiasts from all over the country attend the annual event, according to organizers. It is estimated that fewer than 1,000 Doodle Bugs are in existence today.

Other business

Also Tuesday night, the council:

Approved a loan agreement with the Webster City Airport Commission to provide matching funds for federal dollars to construct a new hangar at the airport.

Authorized the mayor and city clerk to enter into an agreement with Bolton and Menk Inc., Ames, for engineering services related to the Jordan Well project construction phase.

Approved a request from the Police Department to enter into a loan agreement with the Department of the Navy for night vision glasses.

Accepted the resignation of Pawel Kraska from the Webster City Hotel/Motel Tax Board.

Heard an update from Carrie Fitzgerald, Webster City Chamber of Commerce executive director.



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