City moves forward with Fuhs building demolition

— Daily Freeman-Journal file photo
The former Fuhs Pastry Shop building will likely be demolished by the end of the year, following action taken Monday night by the City Council. A public hearing on the plan and specifications is set for May 20 and a contract for demolition is expected to be awarded at that time.

The vacant and rundown Fuhs Pastry Shop building in downtown Webster City may be demolished by the end of this year.

The City Council purchased the building almost exactly a year ago, on April 16, 2018, with the intent to demolish it. At that time local officials said the building was unsafe.

On Monday, the council scheduled a May 20 public hearing on the plans and specifications for knocking the building down. The council is expected to award a contract for the job at that meeting, with demolition to be done by Dec. 1.

A previous attempt to hire a demolition contractor failed in December when bids came in much higher than expected.

Public Works Director Ken Wetzler told the council that the city staff has received some complaints about the city cracking down on private property owners with code violations while not doing anything with the Fuhs building.

”Well, they’re right,” he said.

The building at 605 Second St. was purchased from Fuhs Pastry Shop LLC, of Webster City, for $1.

The Fuhs Pastry Shop closed on Dec. 31, 2014. But there were problems with the structure before then. The conditions were bad enough that city officials posted signs outside of the building in 2013 that read ”Enter at your own risk.”

At the same time the building was purchased, the vacant lot next to it was bought from Big Dawg Investments LLC, of Webster City, for $11,995.

In September, the council hired Snyder & Associates, of Ankeny, to prepare the plans for the demolition job. The company was paid $14,718.