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New city manager faces full agenda for first meeting

Council hears proposed street project details

D. Jeffrey Sheridan, second from right, listens to a speaker during his first City Council meeting Monday night as Webster City’s new city manager. Also pictured are Councilmen Matt McKinney, Brian Miller and Mayor John Hawkins.

D Jeffrey Sheridan, the new city manager for Webster City, faced a full agenda for his first City Council meeting Monday night.

Sheridan was hired earlier this summer following an extensive search process. He succeeds Daniel Ortiz-Hernandez who left a year ago to take a position in California. For the past year, Kent Harfst, director of recreation and public grounds and assistant city manager, has served as the interim city manager.

The council heard a report from John Haldeman, a project manager with Snyder and Associates. Haldeman presented information on the proposed Second Street Project.

Though the project has yet to receive council approval, Haldeman offered a look at potential improvements to Second Street from Prospect Street west to the overpass. The project includes not just expanding the street to three lanes in certain areas of the corridor as well as other infrastructure changes including new and upsized sanitary sewer, street drainage improvements, new and upsized water mains and new street lighting with buried power lines.

The project also looked at options for reconfiguring the intersection at West Second Street as it turns onto Second Street east of the overpass. Haldeman said the improvements would provide better sight lines for those trying to enter Second Street from West Second Street, as well as providing a better turning radius for large trucks.

Haldeman said the logistics are yet to be determined on detours and reroutes to access businesses and homes along the proposed project route.

The estimated cost for the project is $9.1 million.

Sheridan said the most likely payment route for the project would be General Obligation bonds with a 15-year payback schedule.

“For a residential property of a $100,000 valuation would have an expected tax increase of $176,” he said.

Public Works Director Ken Wetzler said he was looking for a consensus from the council on whether the project should move forward.

“Do you want us to proceed? Do you want us to go on with this and prepare things?” Wetzler asked the council. The next step in the process would involve public information meetings in September.

Councilman Logan Welch said he felt the public meetings would bring a great deal of feedback to the council.

“And that may affect our decision. We can always back out of the project after that,” he said.

Should the council move ahead with the project, bid letting would likely occur in the November through February time period and the project would be completed in two phases over two construction seasons, Haldeman said. Construction would likely begin in April 2020 with completion in November 2021.

The council agreed to move ahead with the public information meetings next month.

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