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Mason City Council OKs $336,000 agreement to improve Winnebago recreation

Mason City Council OKs $336,000 agreement to improve Winnebago recreation

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Tuesday night's meeting of the Mason City Council was one marked by construction. 

Of the 14 total items, five dealt with construction work in some form or fashion. 

And one of the biggest of those items on the agenda for the council to consider involves the ongoing Winnebago River dam project aimed at making the stretch of water that runs through Mason City more navigable for kayakers as well as fish and other aquatic life.

There are three specific dam "heads" for the project and before the Tuesday night meeting two of the three had received some sort of funding while one had seen completed construction work.

The city council unanimously approving the $336,000 grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for "Winnebago River Low Head Dam No. 2" now means that some measure of funding is secure for all three of the dam heads. 

In a letter to City Administrator Aaron Burnett, Operations and Maintenance Manager William Stangler said that work on Dam Number Two primarily involves "the design of several large wave features to improve recreation, such as kayaking, tubing and navigability."

Based on stipulations from the Iowa DNR, the work specified in the project proposal needs to be completed "no later than December 13, 2021." 

Along with the grant, the Mason City Council also approved a $991,824 bid from Bob McKinness Excavating and Grading for work on the "12th Street NW Reconstruction Project."

According to Mason City Engineer Mark Rahm, the crux of the work is the removal of "existing pavement and storm sewer, grading and reshaping the right of way."

Based on figures in a letter from Rahm to Burnett, the project is budgeted for $950,000 and will be funded through $350,000 of road use tax, a grant from the federal government totaling $500,000 and $100,000 in sanitary and water funds. 

Jared McNett covers local government for the Globe Gazette. You can reach him at or by phone at 641-421-0527. Follow Jared on Twitter at @TwoHeadedBoy98.



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