The once busy Sunshine Laundry on Fifth Avenue South will be demolished this year, and the property will become a lot where equipment for the nearby Nestle Purina PetCare plant will be parked.
The Fort Dodge City Council on Monday started that transformation by buying the site at 2422 Fifth Ave. S. for $220,000.
The property was purchased from Sunshine Laundry Co., which has addresses in Burlington and Cape Coral, Florida, according to online records of the Webster County Assessor’s Office.
The sale will be closed on Friday, according to Vickie Reeck, the city’s community and economic development manager.
After the building is knocked down, the site will be leased to Nestle Purina PetCare, which has a pet food plant immediately to the west at 2400 Fifth Ave. S. Reeck said that lease is still being negotiated. But she said it will be a long-term arrangement that will enable the city government to recoup its costs for buying and demolishing the building.
The laundromat was built in 1974, according to the Assessor’s Office. Although it has had only coin-operated washers and dryers in recent decades, at one time dry cleaning was done there. There is pollution on the property caused by chemicals used for dry cleaning years ago.
“There are some contamination concerns that we’re working through,” Reeck said.
Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources are aware of the site’s contamination.
In a letter to city officials, EPA representatives wrote that “soil and groundwater has been significantly impacted.”
Because of that contamination, a parking lot is the highest and best use of the property, according to the EPA and DNR.
The laundromat isn’t the only building on Fifth Avenue South that will be coming down this year.
A vacant three-story house at 1205 Fifth Ave. S. was also purchased by the City Council Monday for future demolition.
It was purchased from J.N. Properties of Fort Dodge for $30,000.
The house was built in 1891, according to the Assessor’s Office. After it is gone, the property will eventually be made available for future development.
Councilmen Andy Fritz and Jeff Halter were absent from the otherwise unanimous votes to buy the properties.