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City looking to make improvements at City Hall

by Matt Marquardt –

MASON CITY – At a budget hearing held Tuesday evening, Finance Director Kevin Jacobson revealed that city officials are looking to spend tens of thousands of dollars on City Hall improvements, fixes and equipment.

In his preliminary budget, which still may be changed and is not yet approved, Jacobson (pictured in front of laptop, right) showed on a list of capitol improvement projects that the city is looking to spend $60,000 on a remodel of the first floor (pictured, below).

City Administrator Brent Trout told the City Council and Mayor Eric Bookmeyer that local architect Randy Cram would be at City Hall today (Thursday) looking at the project. has so far been unable to get any details about the $60,000 in renovations for the first floor.  We have an email in to City Administrator Brent Trout and Jacobson asking for details on the project and how it made its way onto the list of capitol improvements.  Once that information is made available, it will be reported on.

Also on the list is $60,000 for computer replacement, $10,000 for miscellaneous equipment replacement and $150,000 for tuck-pointing of bricks.

The next budget hearing is set for January 31st at City Hall.

Meanwhile, fourth ward City Council member Janet Solberg completed some remodeling of her own at City Hall.

Solberg removed the locked door on her wooden inbox (pictured, right, lower left corner), located at the rear of City Hall. Solberg had a locking door installed on her inbox after she made it to the council, and caused a stir by asking for the locked doors on the inboxes.  All the other council members had their locked doors removed in a timely manner, but Solberg’s remained until after January 1st of this year. has repeatedly asked Solberg about the locked door (pictured, below).  Were there items being stolen? What exactly was going on?  We asked again this week why she had the door removed. “What has changed since January 1?” we asked.

Solberg (pictured at top, just to the left of Jacobson) did not reply, and has not replied to any questions asked by in well over a year.  She did take a phone call once, and after we asked a couple of questions, she put us on hold.  Solberg never returned to the phone.



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