City expands project to attract developers

$1.7 million in improvements to North 32nd St. fast-tracked

by Marianne Gasaway

The Clear Lake City Council bought into the “build it and they will come” philosophy Monday night in a big way.  The group voted unanimously to spend an estimated $1.7 million to fund the first two phases of improvements to North 32nd Street.

In December 2017 the Council approved a professional services agreement with Veenstra & Kimm, of Mason City, for engineering services related to the reconstruction of North 32nd Street, which intersects Highway 122 at the new Kwik Star corner.  At Monday’s regular Council meeting, Flory asked the Council to amend that agreement to include services for an additional 950-feet of street and infrastructure improvements.  In total, the work approved by the Council will extend approximately 1,850 feet north of Highway 122.  Street lighting has also been added to the project scope, along with special assessment services.  The additional costs can also be attributed to the need to improve storm sewer lines and extend them across the highway.

The estimated cost of construction has increased from just over $500,000 for phase one, to $1.7 million for phases one and two to be done at once.

Flory likened the project area to the city’s expansion in its Industrial Park in recent years.  Expanded paving, including 12th Avenue South, sparked Titan Pro to locate in the area, followed by other smaller firms and finally McKesson, a Fortune 100 company.

Interest in the northwest portion of property along North 32nd Street is high, said Flory.

“If we want economic development, it’s not going to be with gravel (road) and no infrastructure,” said Flory.  “Proactive is how you land a project.  Reactive is not.”

Five property owners will be affected by special assessments for the work.  Four of the properties on the west side of North

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