During the Tuesday night Mason City Council meeting, Mason City Administrator Aaron Burnett took the time to develop his monthly report and offer some trends going in the right direction.
Average daily rates for hotels in the area are starting to rebound, according to his report, although occupancy rates in the city are still lagging behind. He went on to mention that the Mason City Police Department was making an “extra effort” to hire new officers as quickly as possible, as the agency experienced what it sees as personnel issues.
A new Big Blue
Before the end of the year, residents of Mason City can expect to see a refurbished dock at Big Blue in Lester Milligan Park.
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This is according to Mason City’s operations and maintenance manager, Bill Stangler, who recommended that council approve a $ 14,000 offer from Watters Construction of Mason City to replace the lumber on the wharf.
While discussing this point, Fourth Ward council member John Jaszewski asked Stangler what the schedule would be.
“It will be done in late fall,” Stangler said. In his letter to Burnett, found in the meeting file, Stangler wrote that the funding came from capital improvements.
Continuation of reductions
For around $ 3,750, the city will soon be eliminating another harmful property from its roles with the purchase of a building at 1422 North Hampshire Place.
According to Director of Development Services Steven Van Steenhuyse, the property has been abandoned and dilapidated for over a year and the current owner is unable to stabilize or rehabilitate the house on his own. So the city buys the property from the owner and then solicits bids from local demolition contractors.
According to Van Steenhuyse, the city is now working with eight landowners to rehabilitate their buildings or bring them up to standard.
Talon Development’s 133-unit downtown complex won the award for best multi-family project.
Looking for an evaluator
The four council members present (Paul Adams and John Lee were absent) also gave the green light to the City to make an appointment to the local review committee which is involved in the process of hiring a municipal assessor.
Mason City Mayor Bill Schickel said current city assessor Dana Shipley served as Cerro Gordo County Assessor previously held by Katie Bennett, who submitted her resignation letter in May.
Considering the issue of appointing Tammy Hertzel to the review committee, Jaszewski asked if the city had thought about consolidating the city and county positions, which is the case in much of the state, and what benefits could result from such consolidation.
“If the city gets rid of the post, the city no longer has a third of the influence over the post,” said Burnett, acknowledging that Mason City would see small savings by opting for a consolidation of the posts.
“The overall cash balance of all city funds increased by nearly $ 10 million during the year,” Mason City CFO Brent Hinson wrote in the council brief.
Other figures in Hinson’s financial report showed the city’s general fund stands at $ 7.27 million and its capital improvements are at $ 1.73 million.
None of the funds in the report had a negative total at year-end, although funds for Mason City Arena and parking started in the red and had no final numbers listed.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Friday, September 24 to remove parts about a possible expansion. The City’s notes on this matter were not correct.