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Future of weedy parking lot up to City Council

MASON CITY – There is a parking lot in downtown Mason City amidst the multi-million dollar streetscape that is all gravel. It has its share of weeds and trash. This week, an old mattress lay nearby, next to an overflowing dumpster adjacent to the lot.

The parking lot is at the southeast corner of 2nd Street and North Federal Avenue.

Some are wondering about the future of this lot; will it be paved,will it be developed… or will it stay as-is? is told that the city council may act to fix up the lost at their discretion.

From City Administrator Brent Trout: “There have been a number of ideas regarding how to proceed with this lot. The council needs to spend some time at a work session discussing what to do with this lot. They need to decide if they want to leave it as a parking lot and make improvements to the lot or do they want to keep it available for development. I plan to discuss the options with staff in the near future and then meet with City Council and discuss the item. In the past the City has made it available for development but the development has not materialized. The City is not required to pave the lot but we do need to maintain the lot which would include weed control on our property.”

Several persons have expressed concerns about the city’s responsibility with this parking lot.

From a concerned nearby business owner: “While I am aware the city has offered the lot for development as Mr Trout states, it has not materialized yet. I can also appreciate that the city has to budget for things and cannot do everything at once but this lot has been that way now for years. The city should be a leader and follow the rules that they enforce such as weed control, lot maintenance and following all codes such as handicap spots. The lot is an eye sore next to our brand new down town street.”

There are some ordinances that pertain to how the city must maintain its parking lots. For example, the laws lay out the number of required handicapped parking spaces (the lot has none) and the maximum height that weeds can be allowed to grow to.

In the meantime it looks as if the lot is not on the current city council’s radar and there are no development proposals on the horizon.



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