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A work session with the City Council of Webster City and the Wilson Brewer Park board will wade through the realities of taking on more projects at the historic park

October 16, 2022

The reckoning of deferred maintenance, a lack of aggressive oversight, and proposals for the future will likely collide tonight when the City Council of Webster City holds a work session with the board of Wilson Brewer Park.

The meeting directly follows the regular city council meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. in the council chambers of City Hall, 400 Second St., Webster City.

The condition of the historic park, which is the site of this town’s origin and named after its founder, Wilson Brewer, has vacillated over decades between beloved, quaint, and quiet to recent more ambitious accomplishments, including the moving and remodeling of the two original log cabins, the addition of a train caboose, and the threading throughout the park of a concrete pathway that has dramatically increased access to the multiple park buildings.

For years, as a quaint park gifted to the city by the Brewer family with the stipulation that it remain a park, it was taken care of with a minimum of upkeep, though that minimum encompassed what could be termed “deferred maintenance.”

In its emerging iteration, the concern is that it would tap into the city’s general fund to a degree the city worries it cannot sustain.

In that climate, the city and WBP board find themselves being asked to accept a large gift – $1 million – from the Dean Bowden family to build a proposed Hamilton County Heritage Center.

The Heritage Center, proposed as a monitor-style barn, would be sited on land that is currently owned by Hamilton County, though it was part of the original Brewer family gift to Webster City.

The Hamilton County Board of Supervisors propose deeding that land, which is east of an existing parking lot that is south of Mulberry Center Church.

The Supervisors are suggesting that a new city/county initiative oversee the proposed Hamilton County Heritage Center. That would require a reorganization of the existing board.


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

Last modified: October 18, 2022

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