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New location for fire training center sits better with Wilcox

Rob Wilcox is a happy man.

NIACC and Mason City have selected a new location to build a fire training center. Originally, it was to be built just to the east of Wilcox’s property.

Rob Wilcox and other neighbors finally had had enough of a perceived lack of attention to their concerns from NIACC and the City and organized and aired their grievances to the media and NIACC and City officials at a meeting on November 10.

Tony Pappas, Director of Facilities Management for NIACC, ran that meeting and heard concerns from Wilcox and other neighbors. “Don’t build it next to my house, period. We don’t want it there,” neighbor Brad Johnson told Pappas.

Pappas listened, and relayed the information to NIACC President Deb Derr.

Wilcox told today that Mr. Pappas came to his home early last week with plans for a new location for the fire training center. “Mr. Pappas was very helpful. He said he wanted me to see this first, before it got out. He said that was not how NIACC does business (referencing the Wilcoxs’ perceived feeling that NIACC was ignoring the concerns of neighbors)”.

Wilcox went on to tell that Pappas told him “The City orchestrated most of what was going on. We’re not too happy with how that was playing out.”

As for the new site where the fire training center is now set to be built, Wilcox said “I suggested this site originally.” Wilcox did point out the new site, on land next to a yellow barn just south of the main NIACC campus, when visited him in October. He noted that that site was a better location for the training center than the old location next to his property.

“We think it’s a great thing, the training center. We are 100% in favor of it. We originally asked that it go up on the top of the hill.”

The NIACC Development Review Committee still has to OK the new location.

City Administrator Brent Trout said “It appears to be a win-win location for the neighborhood and NIACC. |

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