A Fort Dodge childcare facility may be moving to the city’s east side not far from the Rosedale Rapids Aquatics Center.
ChildCare Discovery Center is now located at 2329 First Ave. S. It is in a strip mall that was recently purchased by Nestle Purina PetCare, which owns the land immediately to the south.
Nestle Purina PetCare purchased the strip mall from Levien Center LLC for $1 million in a deal that closed on Jan. 16, according to online records of the Webster County Assessor’s Office.
Faced with the necessity of having to move, David and Tammy McNeill, the owners of the business, have identified a site on North 32nd Street, north of the aquatics center, as their preferred location.
Their plan calls for building a 18,000-square-foot, one-story structure, according to Carissa Harvey, the city’s strategic planner. Construction could begin this fall.
The city’s Board of Adjustment on Tuesday gave the project a boost by granting a special exception allowing a daycare facility to be constructed in an area zoned for residential use.
That action, however, did not represent the final approval needed for the project. The City Council must still approve the switch from the current agriculture designation to a residential one. Before construction can begin, the city’s engineering and inspection staff will have to review the plans.
Before unanimously approving the special exception, board members briefly discussed the impact the new childcare center could have on traffic in the area. The proposed site is northeast of the Fort Dodge Middle School, an area that sees a lot of traffic at the beginning and end of each school day.
Board member Jen Crimmins said she heard complaints that the roundabout intersection of 10th Avenue North and 32nd Street gets clogged with traffic.
“It does get busy in that area,” board member Troy Anderson said. “It’s not horrible.”
Board members briefly considered asking for a traffic study as a condition of approving the special exception, but dropped that idea before granting approval.