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Pavilion VS Shelter House #1: Officials at odds

In the days since the Mason City Park Board voted to OK the demolition of Shelter House #1 in East Park, more city officials are starting to take notice of this developing controversy. has been following this situation and made attempts to contact city officials in order to guage their concern, as we feel this is an important matter that warrants participation from city leaders.

Phone calls were made to, and returned by, Carl Grover and Frank Pearson, the dissenting votes on the vote by the Park Board that gave the go-ahead to tear down Shelter House #1 and build a pavilion in its place. Both Park Board members commented to that they had serious concerns about the flood zone and the demolition of the historic shelter house. Mr. Pearson expressed his support for a pavilion although he hoped it would be located elsewhere. also sent emails to all six City Council members as well as Mayor Eric Bookmeyer.

Councilman Scott Tornquist referred us to a memorandum he wrote on Oct. 11 to his fellow Council members. In that memo, Mr. Tornquist expressed “concern with the ramifications of what I consider to be a significant decision with little discussion or opportunity for community input.” He also expressed concern about a swift rush to demolish the structure due to the fact that it is in a state of disrepair.

Councilman Jeff Marsters also replied via email and noted that “it appears that the City Council is getting the run around trying to get a meeting scheduled” with the Park Board and or the Pavilion Committee.

When reached by phone, Councilman Max Weaver said “I have a tendency to agree with an Oct. 11 memo sent out by Scott Tornquist. My review of the Sept. 14 meeting minutes would lead me to think that there wasn’t enough discussion to warrant a vote by the Park Board. What I am saying is that it is clear to me that certain Park Board members had a meeting with certain Pavilion members outside of their official meeting. Obviously leaving two park board members in the dark, who voted no.” He went on to say “As far as who has the authority to demolish Shelter House #1, that would be better left to City Attorney Tom Meyer.” will continue to monitor this developing situation. Please leave your comments to this story and voice your opinion on what the fate of Shelter House #1 should be.

Proposed pavillion

Shelter house #1


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