Archive for the ‘City Council’ Category


Improvements in Fire Department

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 4, 1904

Improvements in Fire Department

Shall Another Station Be Built and New Wagon Ordered?

Present System Inadequate

Says Fire Marshal Lowry Who Advocated Purchase of Chemical Wagon and New Station. Fire Committee Discusses Matter

Does Fort Dodge Need a new fire house, locate presumably on the corner of Twelfth street and First avenue north, and a new wagon which will be fitted up for the extinguishing of fires by chemicals? These are two momentous questions which will be discussed by the city council at their next regular meeting Monday night.

Need of Chemical Wagon

In the opinion of Fire Marshal Lowry, the present fire protection is inadequate to the needs of the city. Over sixty per cent of the fires could be put out by chemicals, thus saving the loss of damage to property by water. But the present wagon is fitted out with only two two gallon extinguishers. At a meeting of the fire committee held last night the matter was taken under advisement and a recommendation will be made to the city council next Monday to purchase a new chemical wagon. Such a wagon would be about the size of the present wagon, but would contain a forty gallon tank of chemicals under the seat with two smaller tanks on each side of the wagon. Two hundred feet of chemical hose would be included and a root and extension ladders. 1,000 feet of water hose will also be carried. the cost of such a wagon complete would not exceed $1,700 (about $42,775 today). It would weigh 8,000 pounds when empty and would be equipped with three-inch rubber tires. This wagon would serve as a protection to districts outside of the city mains, the chemicals being as effective one place as another.

The present wagon would by no means go out of use. It could be kept in the present house and the old hook and ladder which is now stored in the fire house and which is very seldom used, could be taken elsewhere. In case of large fires a hack team could be secured and both wagons used, but as chemicals are used in the main, the new wagon would be taken out for the most part. (Editor’s note: They are suggesting that in case of a large fire, someone would run to a livery stable and hire horses to run the old hook and ladder. Times have certainly changed.)

Need of Second Department

It is also the intention to bring up the matter of having a second station. It is argued that should two fires happen to take place at the same time in opposite parts of the city protection could not be offered. The present East End department consists of but a hose car and relies entirely on volunteers in case of fire. It is thought that a station located on the city’s property on the corner of Twelfth street and First avenue would be in the proper place. This location would make it almost the central part of the city and at the same time save the lower department of the run up hill to the east part of the city which is always so exasperating. A second station could be maintained with very little cost after the building had once been built, as there would be plenty of apparatus when the new wagon had been purchased.

Waterloo Has Two Wagons

Those of the department in favor of the improvement say that inasmuch as other towns of size not larger than this, hav1e superior protection to that in Fort Dodge, a change for the better should be made. Waterloo has two chemical wagons. The water committee is composed of John Ruge, Guy Ranking, Jesse Beal, and Louis Fessler.


Street Car Route Has Been Outlined

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 3, 1903

Street Car Route Has Been Outlined

Fort Dodge Light & Power Co. Announces Line to be Followed by Extension

Present Petition to Council

Ask That Streets be Brought to Grade at Points Along the New Line

The management of the Fort Dodge Light and Power company has determined the route to be followed by the extension of the car line which is planned to be constructed this spring. The route is as follows:

From Twelfth street and Central avenue:

South on Twelfth street to Fourth avenue south,

East on Fourth avenue south to Eighteenth street,

South on Eighteenth street to a point two blocks within the Oleson Land company’s tract,

East to the grand stand of the Mineral City Park association.

The entire extension contemplated is two and one-quarter miles in length. The company has already sufficient material on hand to complete the construction of one mile.

A petition was presented to the city council on Monday evening asking that at certain specified points the streets be brought to grade along the proposed route of the extension. The council referred the matter to the street and alley committee. None of the changes asked are of any special importance. One is for a two foot cut for a short distance on Fourth avenue south between Twelfth and Thirteenth street, just in front of the German Lutheran church. A short fill is also requested on Eighteenth street between Fourth and Fifth avenues south.

Manager Will Healy, of the Fort Dodge Light and Power company stated this morning that the company expected to begin work on their extension as soon as possible after a grade had been adjusted, if the council should take favorable action on their petition.


Plans for Dam in the River

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 14, 1906

Plans for Dam in the River

Light and Power Co’s. Project is Certainty – Engineer Preparing Plans

City engineer Charles Reynolds is engaged at present in drawing a set of plans for the construction of a dam in the Des Moines river near the upper river bridge at the direction of the Fort Dodge Light and (P)ower Co., who plan to erect the same as soon as possible.

This announcement will be received gladly all through the city. the project has been held in mind by the Light and Power Co., for some time but has only recently been definitely decided upon. This means that this company will be enabled to furnish the cheapest power in the state and that it will almost force big manufacturing firms to come here.

It is a step of great importance for the city and means more than the acquisition of any railroad line of factory such as Fort Dodge has worked for in the past. It is expected that work will commence next spring. An eighteen foot dam is planned.


Comply With Fire Escape Ordinance

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 10, 1903

Comply With Fire Escape Ordinance

Nearly Every Building in the City is Now Protected Against Fire.

Four Buildings Without Them

Owners of Two Buildings are Fined for not Obeying the Law.

Inhabitants of Fort Dodge “sky scrapers,” need no longer have any fear of waking up in the middle of the night disturbed by the alarm of fire and finding that there is no other means of escape besides the burning stairway, or windows high above the street.

The city fire escape ordinance passed last April in accordance with the state law is now practically enforced in Fort Dodge. There are only four buildings in the city, which on account of their size come under the law, unprovided with fire escapes of sufficient size and number to allow the inmates in event of a fire a mode of escape.

Two of the delinquents, the Great Western Cereal Company and the Green-Wheeler Shoe company have been fined the amount provided by law, $1 and costs, $10 per week afterward until fire escapes are put up. The other delinqent (sic), the Midland life Insurance Co., which has been ordered to appear on charge of disobeying the law and the fourth owner, Harry Sanderson, who is prevented from putting  up the escape on his building until the permission of the government is secured, the escapes being placed on the west side of the Sanderson black which borders on the postoffice grounds. It is necessary to secure the consent of the government before the work can be done.

All of the Central avenue business blocks of three or more stories, with the exception of the above named, have complied with the ordinance and the contracts for the escapes on the shoe factory have been let and work will commence as soon as the material arrives. The Great Western Cereal Company had provided the mill with one fire escape but this has been considered insufficient, so that more will have to be put in. The work of doing this will begin Thursday.  The Midland Insurance company has ordered the material and will have the apparatus u p within a few weeks. As soon as government permission is secured the fire escapes will be placed on the Sanderson block.

The most expensive escapes not put in are those on the court house. These are of the nature of a steel stairway and cost $450. One escape is placed on the east and one on the soth (sic) side of the building.

The Des Moines Bridge and Iron Works has held contracts for the majority of the work. The contracts signed by this company here would run into the thousands. the cost of the fire escapes for a building varies from $80 to $500 depending on the number and kind used and whether or not a stand pipe is put in.

The ordinance was passed by the council in the early spring. Notices were served on property owners on April first that the escapes must be in by June 1, but delay in the carrying out of the contracts by the construction companies has caused a postponement in the enforcement of the ordinance.


Garbage Bidders Use the Knife

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The Fort Dodge Daily Chronicle: Sept. 7, 1910

Garbage Bidders Use the Knife

If City is Unwilling to Pay $1,800 Per Year They Will Do the Work for One-Sixth That Price.

During the meeting of the city council a week ago an effort was made to let the contract for the gathering of garbage in the city, two bids being presented, one for $1,500 per year and the other at $1,800. Both were rejected by the city council and Councilman Smith who had the matter in charge was instructed to readvertise for bids, the bids to be opened at the first meeting in September.

Between the rejection of their bids and the time set for the opening of the new one the garbag (sic) bidder experienced a burst of philanthropy, and decided that if the city was unwilling to pay $1,800 a year for the work they were willing to take the same at one-sixth that amount, one of the bids being made at the rate of $150 per wagon per year. The matter was referred to Councilman Smith and it is probably the contract will be let at a future date.


Concrete Work is Completed

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 20, 1903

Concrete Work is Completed

Laying of Asphalt Paving is Nearing the End.

Expected to Be Finished Within Two Weeks – Job Completed on Contract Time.

The work on the asphalt paving is fast drawing to a close. The concrete work was completed today and William Murdock, who has charge of this work and a gang of nine men, leaves tonight for Waterloo where the company has a contract.

There now remains but seven blocks to receive the asphalt surfacing, so that the entire work will be completed within two weeks. The work is finished down Second avenue north as far as Thirteenth street, and but two blocks are to be covered on Twelfth street.

Altho the weather has not been ideal the job will be completed within contract time. When the work is finished here the plant which has been used here will be taken to Waterloo.

While the paving has cost the property owners considerable, yet a great deal of the money has been left in the city. The company has had from 100 to 125 men on the pay roll which has totaled $2,000 every two weeks and a larger part of this money is left right in Fort Dodge.

Assistant cashier for the company, C.L. Howe will be in the city Friday.

W.R. McLaughlin, district manager for the company is also in the city.


When The City Has Its Own Newspaper

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: July 11, 1904

When The City Has Its Own Newspaper

Webster City Municipal Council Going to Edit a Newspaper.

Run Graphic Herald a Week

Beginning This Week the Council will Publish the Paper – Councilman as Editor-in-chief, With Numerous Assistants.

Webster City, July 11 – There is going to be another daily paper in Webster City, which will make the third daily paper published here. This announcement may come as a surprise to those who think th at with the two dailies already here, the field is well equipped. Nevertheless there is to be a third daily. It is to be issued from the office of the Graphic Herald – the only democratic paper in Hamilton county. It is to be called the “Daily Graphic-Herald.” Its life is to be short, just one little week, and it is to be edited by the city council.

This is something strictly new in the municipal ownership line. Not content with a city electric light plant, a city water works plant and a city heating plant, the council is endeavoring to get a city gas plant and, in furtherenace of this latest project, will run a daily newspaper plant.

Preparations for the issuing of these few copies of the “Daily Graphic-Herald” have been going on for some little time. The expense of publishing the daily will be bourne, it is said, by the city council, or rather, the taxpayers.

It is understood that Alderman J.D. Riste, of the First ward, the “father of the council,” is to be the editor-in-chief, with several members as first, second, third and fourth assistant editors. This week has been selected for the issuing of the daily, because it is the last week before the special election on the gas franchise proposition.

During the next week the Graphic-Herald will be distributed broadcast throughout the city. It will be left at every door. Brother Robie, the editor of the Graphic-Herald, will be related to the background. It is simply a matter of so much coin of the realm for him and he doesn’t care. The contents of the new and short lived daily will relate to nothing but gas. The people are awaiting with much curiosity to see the new sheet. Some of the taxpayers are also shying a little when they think of the cost of printing the paper even for one week.


Close Pool Halls at Eleven O’Clock

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 14, 1904

Close Pool Halls at Eleven O’Clock

Pool and Billiard Halls, Now Closing at all Hours, Must Close on Time.

Ordinance to be Adopted

Other Business Transacted by the City Council Monday Night.

A uniform closing hour for pool and billiard halls is to be established in Fort Dodge. The question of taking this step was a subject of discussion at the council meeting Monday night and resulted in the council’s deciding to take such action. The city solicitor was instructed to draw up an ordinannce (sic) to this effect. It will probably be presented to the council at its next meeting. At present there is no closing hour for pool and billiard halls and although no attempt has been made to open them on Sunday it is a question if  under existing conditions their closing on that day could be enforced. Complaints, the police say have been made from several sources that warrant their closing at a stated hour. At present they close at various times from 10 o’clock on.

The following petitions were presented to the council Monday night:

To have First avenue north from Ninth street to Tenth street paved full width. Granted, and Barber Asphalt company notified to make the change at the same price specified in the contract for a thirty-foot street.

From L.E. Chapin and others objecting against manner of replacing paving in the alley between Fifth and Sixth street and Central and First Avenue north taken up by the Fort Dodge Light and Power company in laying gas mains. Referred to the street and alley committee.

Contract for the construction of a sanitary sewer on Second avenue north was awarded to J.W. Mooney at the following figures:

Per lineal foot: 29 1/2 c
House connection: 25 c
Lamp holes: $7 each
Fllush tank: $27 each
Moving siphon: $3

Contract for the construction of sanitary sewer on Fifth street was awarded to C.A. Kling. The following was his bid:

15-inch pipe: 75 c
Catch basins: $26

The sewer committee reported on a proposed sewer in West Fort Dodge, recommending the sewer in question be built as follows: Commencing at the southwest corner of block 1, West Fort Dodge, thence east on Fourth avenue south to Second street, thence south on Second street to Fifth avenue south; thence east on Fifth avenue south to Third street, thence south on Third street to Seventh avenue south; thence east on Seventh avenue south to Fourth street.

The report was approved and placed on file. A resolution of necessity for the same sewer was passed.

On motion the street commissioner was instructed to bring to grade the sidewalk adjoining the N. Fleet property.

The water committee reported in regard to petition for extension of water mains on Second avenue south from Sixteenth to Eighteenth street. The report which recommended that the petition be granted, was accepted.

The Salvation Army petitions the council to be granted the right to erect a temporary building on the southeast corner of Eighth street and Central avenue for the purpose of holding summer meetings. The matter has been referred to the fire committee.


Cement Walks Ordered

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: May 8,1906

Cement Walks Ordered

Council Order Walks Along Second Avenue South and Twelfth Street.

The City council has ordered about three blocks of cement walks constructed in the east part of the city during the coming summer. Walks have been ordered along Second Avenue South from Tenth to Tewelfth (sic) Streets and on Twelfth Street fronting the G.S. Ringland property. They are to be completed by August 1st. Regarding the Central Avenue cement walks the council do not intend to order all walks along the street relaid with cement. A few brick walks have been condemned and ordered replaced with cement and as fast as others prove unserviceable the same move will be made. It is not likely, however, that a general move for cement walks the full length of Central Avenue will be ordered.