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Bike share coming to Webster City

March 3, 2020

The Webster City City Council received a presentation on a bike share system for Webster City and Hamilton County during the council’s Monday night meeting at City Hall.

Kyle Sheker, of Koloni, Inc., a Pocahontas-based technology company that specializes in bike shares, presented to the council, along with Brian Lammers, director of the Conservation Department.

Under the proposal, which has not yet been voted on by the council, the city and the county will purchase 15 bike share bicycles and lease the app software from Koloni for two years.

The 15 bikes will be split up among three bike rack locations – one at Briggs Woods, one at Brewer Creek Park and one at Riverside Park.

“How it works – and the instructions are on the bike – the end user just downloads the Koloni app, and then they can scan the QR code on the bike,” Sheker explained. “The bike will unlock, they can ride it around and then return it.”

A user can pick up a bike from one location and return it to one of the other two locations.

“It’s just a great way of getting around town for recreation purposes throughout the community,” Sheker added.

The city of Webster City would be responsible for two-thirds of the cost of purchasing and upkeep on the system, with Hamilton County being responsible for the remaining third.

The city council will vote to approve the bike share program during its next meeting on March 16.

About a dozen Webster City teenagers and preteens addressed the city council during the petitions, communications and requests portion of the meeting.

The teens, who seemed to be led by Joshua Stansfield, were requesting the city install a full-size basketball court in an unnamed park located at the corner of Fair Meadow Drive and North Terrace Drive.

“There are lots of kids in the neighborhood and lots of kids moving into the neighborhood,” Stansfield told the council.

Another member of the group said, “It would make our town, especially our neighborhood, a lot more active and you can do a lot more activities there and get the kids out of the house a lot more.”

A third member of the group suggested hosting tournaments and parties on the proposed basketball court.

Mayor John Hawkins recommended the youngsters reach out to the Parks and Recreation Board to add the issue to one of their meeting agendas.

The council hosted a public hearing on the status of funded activities for the Webster City Community Development Block Grant Projects. During the hearing, the council heard from Shirley Helgevold, local assistance manager from MIDAS Council of Governments.

The Webster City City Council also held a public hearing and approved a development agreement with Gary and Brenda Fox, who purchased the former Shopko building at 200 Red Bull Division Drive.

The council also held a hearing and approved an Urban Renewal Plan amendment for the Riverview Central Business District Urban Renewal Area.

In other business, the council discussed the disposition of a city-owned house located at 1236 Second St., which was purchased by the city last fall. Where the house sits now, it is in the way of a street expansion for the 2020 Second Street Reconstruction Project.

Last month, the city opened it up for bids to buy and move the house.

“It’s cheaper for us to have someone move that house than it is for us to demo it,” Public Works Director Ken Wetzler said.

However, because of the cost estimates and work limitations of potential building movers, Wetzler said the city received no bids for the project. In addition to relocating the house, the city also wanted the demolition of the basement and foundation and to have the hole filled in.

Habhab Construction estimated that the total cost of the relocation would be around $80,000.

“We had a couple local residents who were interested in this project,” Wetzler said. “One of them … didn’t have the equipment that it would take to do what we were asking them to do, so he didn’t bid either.”

Wetzler said he also contacted Habitat for Humanity and Upper Des Moines Opportunity, neither of which were interested.

Wetzler said that after talking with City Manager Jeff Sheridan, they believe the next steps should be to send the project out to bid again, but eliminate the requirement of the concrete basement. The council agreed.

During the meeting, the council also set dates for a handful of public hearings. The first, a hearing on the 2020-2021 Capital Improvement Budget and 2020-2021 through 2024-2025 Capital Improvement Plan was set for 6:05 p.m. on March 16.

Also at approximately 6:05 p.m. on March 16 will be public hearings on the proposed 2020-2021 Budget, and on a proposed offer to buy city-owned located at the east end of Cherry Street.

The next city council meeting will be at 6 p.m. on March 16 at City Hall.


View this article as it originally appeared in the Daily Freeman-Journal.

Last modified: March 4, 2020

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