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Council reviews plans to expand reopening of Fuller Hall

Halloween hours established, but no preschool party or middle school activity night this year

—Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Anne Blankenship Fuller Hall may soon be expanding its hours so that school-age children can use the recreation facility after school and on weekends. The City Council reviewed a plan to expand the reopening to children in grades 2 through 12. The plan calls for a maximum of 40 children in the building at one time.

The City Council of Webster City reviewed a plan Monday for the reopening of Fuller Hall for school age youths.

The council met in regular session Monday night, utilizing the Zoom teleconferencing platform and it was broadcast on Facebook live.

Larry Flaws, director of recreation and public grounds, presented the plan which would coincide with the fall and winter hours for the facility. The plan calls for the center to be open after school on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 3:30 to 5 p.m. for students in grades 7 to 12. A maximum of 40 students would be allowed into the building to adhere to social distancing guidelines, Flaws said.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, students in grades 2 to 6 would be allowed into the building from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Weekday evenings would be limited to students in grades 7 to 12 only. Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as all day Saturday, would be open to all ages with the 40 person maximum capacity at any one time.

Flaws added that the facility would not be available for birthday parties, classes or group meetings at this time. No activities, such as men’s basketball, badminton, pickle ball or other activities, would be allowed for now.

The TV area would be open to 10 individuals at a time as would the game room. The gym would be open for up to 20 individuals for free shooting only — no competition basketball games would be held.

The racquetball courts will be open for racquetball only and no walleyball at this time, according to Flaws.

Lap swimming and open swimming would be available for 20 swimmers at one time. Currently, six people can use the cardio room and six can use the weight room at one time.

The council, by consent, approved the plan. The date for the reopening was not set as of yet.

Halloween activities

Webster City trick-or-treaters will have a chance to go door-to-door on Halloween night as the council officially set Oct. 31 from 5 to 7 p.m. Residents who wish to pass out candy to children that night are asked to turn on porch lights to participate. City Manager Jeff Sheridan encouraged all taking part to follow the general guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control concerning social distancing, mask usage and other pandemic safety measures.

Sheridan said that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Webster City will not be having the preschool Halloween party or the middle school activity night this year.

Wayfinding signs

Community Vitality Director Lindsay Henderson talked to the council about replacing and updating the cit’s wayfinding and park signs located throughout the community. She said the existing signs are 10 years old and showing signs of wear. Many also have outdated information. Henderson said the University of Iowa’s GIS student project was used as a starting reference and the street department and Henderson worked together to come up with the updated information, appearance and locations.

The street department is working with Iowa Prison Systems on the project and it was discovered that some of the signs could be reused and resurfaced. Some signs were eliminated to “streamline” the wayfinding, according to a council memo.

Henderson said the “amenity attractions” signs had been separated from the directional information, such as schools, the hospital and the airport. Badge signs would be used for the directional information and larger signs would be used for the attractions.

A total of $20,000 was budgeted for the project, but the cost comes to $34,356 due to the fact that some new signs will have to be purchased as well as the Department of Transportation requirements for lettering sizes.

“We refaced everything we possibly could use, but we did have to purchase some new signs to accommodate the content,” Henderson said.

The council approved the project and the additional funds.

A contract for $87.000 to Crouse Brothers Masonry of Gowrie was approved for the 2020 Webster City Tuckpointing project. Included in the project is the city municipal building, the water plant and the Kendall Young Park entrance gates.

Fort Dodge Asphalt of Fort Dodge was awarded the contract for the 2021 asphalt joint and crack sealing project in Webster City, a total of $86,086.

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