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PUBLIC NOTICE: City intends to spend $18 million to build and lease arena from Southbridge Mall


This news story was published on December 19, 2016.
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JC Penney is closed now, but the empty shell could hold a multi-million dollar hockey arena, courtesy of the taxpayers of Mason City.

MASON CITY – Not all the details have been released, but in a brand new attempt to put an ice arena in Southbridge Mall, Mason City city hall intends to pay for the construction of the arena and then lease the space from the mall owner, costing $18 million.

Here is the public notice sent out from city hall just this morning:

PUBLIC NOTICE is hereby given that the City Council of the City of Mason City, State of Iowa, will hold a public hearing on the 3rd day of January 2017, at 7:00 o’clock P.M., in the Mason City Room of the Mason City Public Library, 225 2nd Street SE, Mason City, Iowa, at which meeting the Council proposes to take additional action for the authorization of a Lease Agreement with Southbridge Mall (“Lessor”) in the amount of not to exceed $18,000,000 for an essential corporate urban renewal purpose of the City, such Lease Agreement being entered into to facilitate the construction of a recreational center and multipurpose arena facility (“Facility”) and subsequent lease of the Facility by the City, pursuant to Iowa Code Chapter 403 and the Mason City Downtown Reinvestment Urban Renewal Plan. The Lease Agreement provides for the payment of one or more grants by the City to Lessor to pay for project costs incurred by the Lessor in constructing the Facility, in an amount not to exceed $13,000,000, and annual rental payments to be paid by the City to Lessor for lease of the constructed Facility by the City in an amount not to exceed $5,000,000. Rental payments under the proposed Lease agreement will be payable from the Debt Service Fund.

At any time before the date of the meeting, a petition, asking that the question of authorizing such Lease Agreement be submitted to the legal voters of the City, may be filed with the Clerk of the City in the manner provided by Section 362.4 of the Code of Iowa, pursuant to the provisions of Sections 364.4(4), 384.24(3)(q), 384.25 and Chapter 403 of the Code of Iowa.

At the above meeting the Council shall receive oral or written objections from any resident or property owner of the City, to the above action. After all objections have been received and considered, the Council will at this meeting or at any adjournment thereof, take additional action for the authorization of the Lease Agreement or will abandon the proposal.

This notice is given by order of the City Council of the City of Mason City, State of Iowa, as provided by Sections 364.4(4), 384.25 and Chapter 403 of the Code of Iowa, as amended.

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More details will be posted as soon as possible on this developing situation.

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40 Responses to PUBLIC NOTICE: City intends to spend $18 million to build and lease arena from Southbridge Mall

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 22, 2016 at 3:31 am

    NOW LISTEN UP Mr Trout says it will not cost any taxpayer money and that is the truth. But, but what would that money be used for if not the arena?? so taxpayer money is gunna have to be used for those projects so in all reality it is going to be taxpayer money!!!

    • Avatar

      JVS Reply Report comment

      December 22, 2016 at 9:14 am

      It’s money that will not exist if the project doesn’t move forward. The arena itself creates the taxes that would be used to fund its construction.

  2. Avatar

    IowaBoy Reply Report comment

    December 22, 2016 at 12:50 am

    SO CORRUPT!!! And when the Hockey Association can’t come up with their $2 million, I’m sure we will just pay that too.

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Why don’t they just upgrade the North Iowa Bulls hockey arena. It seems like the hockey team is going to stay in Mason City. Unlike the previous one. North Iowa Bulls arena could really use a upgrade. They would deserve it to since they are doing really good. It could also attract more people to the hockey games and Mason City!

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 21, 2016 at 8:02 am

      I agree with this 100%. The North Iowa Fairgrounds is a far better location than downtown. Visitors would go to a hockey game and then go to Starbucks to warm themselves back up and then go to one of the many shopping centers.

      Unfortunately, any upgrade that would be done to the current arena would be wasted and ruined the first time it gets reconfigured for the horses in the summer. There needs to a stand-alone facility for hockey.

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Did anyone else see that watered down article in the GLOB today. They had a article on the front page with no details or dollar amounts. Then they ran a small article on the editorial page supporting the drunk and his goons.

  5. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2016 at 6:08 am

    Trout and Boofmeyer are just seeing how much they can get away with.

  6. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    OK taxpayers…bend over !

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 20, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      This project would be primarily paid for by a state grant, not taxpayer money.

      But if you’re just saying “bend over” because you’re into that sort of thing then go ahead. I’m not here to judge.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 20, 2016 at 2:12 pm

        That’s because you like it in the mouth.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          December 20, 2016 at 2:15 pm

          Someone here is all salty, but it sure isn’t me.

  7. Avatar

    Doctorcy Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Here they go again!! Another stick-it to the public. Bookmeyer/Trout kept the lease agreement top secret until 48 hours before the City Council will vote on it tomorrow evening. They know full well that Iowa Code 362.3 requires that the public notice “must be published at least once, not less than four nor more than twenty days before the date of the City Council’s public hearing.”

    Bookmeyer/Trout then inform the tax payers that they can call for a referendum on the lease agreement if they file a petition with the City Clerk before the City Council meeting tomorrow evening. What they didn’t tell you is that the referendum petition isn’t valid unless it is “signed by eligible electors of the city equal in number to ten percent of the persons who voted at the last preceding regular city election.” Well good luck on getting that petition filled-out, and to the City Clerk by tomorrow night.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 20, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      Take a look at your calendar. The public hearing is on January 3… more than 4 and less than 20.

  8. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    i’m sure the ones that want a no vote, don’t have jobs anyways.

  9. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    You guys understand how this works right? the funding sources-right(state grant/TIF/Private Investment)? You understand its not being funded with YOUR property taxes-Right? You understand that if it was funded with YOUR property taxes it would be on a ballot-right?

  10. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Another bad deal. To Alex K family, sorry for your loss. Want to thank hes dad for the Globe gazette article that tells it all. It just price even more why they are thefts. What they put Alex through was so wrong. They should be gone already. If anyone made Mason City what it is today it’s Brookmeyer and Mathis. I never had the chance to meet Alex. My son is 26 years old talked every highly about him. Hes words were Alex is are only hope for change Mason City. Its pretty sad what they did to him. Uncalled for should be investigation on it. Held accountable for there actions like everyone else. The article by hes father was the best thing for Mason City and to honor hes Alex memory. The first time our policy know the real story. Sorry it was at the loss of your son.Thoughts and prayers are with you all

  11. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    How is it we don’t own this place yet.All the $we spent to tear it all down in 80-s,work the land ruin our downtown.Taxpayers paid for it did we not?Do I have this right we pay for it then we turn around and rent it with up to 5 million.That sounds NUTS.Winter months no concerts no anything else when hockey and ice sports going on.Maybe Youth Hockey should dump some of their $ or the parents of these kids that will use it the most.Can this Arena sustain itself or will more $be ask for when things get though again.Say if Bulls were to move or just maybe Youth hockey isn’t as popular as we think.Need to look at the big picture,we already made plenty mistakes when it comes to downtown.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 20, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      Mason City Youth Hockey as part of the agreement has to put millions of dollars into the project as well as paying for ALL of the equipment that is needed for hockey. Boards, glass, Zamboni, ice making equipment.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 20, 2016 at 1:40 pm

        Then why not use the money the city was going to waste on a lease and buy or build your own building? It will be cheaper and you can control it.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          December 20, 2016 at 2:00 pm

          WOW! your a genius, the arena and it’s equipment has a 15 year life span and is still going 35+ years later. So the possibility of it dying any minute has been a discussion for a loooong time. But with your brilliance maybe we have a solution!! (Because nobody ever would have thought of building an arena on their own) Or the money that is available to build downtown is ONLY AVAILABLE IF WE BUILD DOWNTOWN. If we built somewhere else it would have to be partially supported by taxpayer money.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            December 20, 2016 at 2:09 pm

            There is 5 million dollars a year that could support it. You are going to waste it anyway smart ass.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            December 20, 2016 at 2:19 pm

            There is no 5 million dollar a year lease. The 5 million is over the 20 year lease. So as I seem to be more informed than you, I will say I would rather be smart ass with some knowledge than a dumb spouting information about something they know nothing about. If you are just going to believe the partial information from this article you deserve to stay ignorant.

            This is for the comment below.

            PS I can’t log into my google account, Do you know my password?

  12. Avatar

    rukidding Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Better show up to the council meeting and let your voices be heard. Especially if you believe this is a dumb idea.

  13. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Great idea building something for a property owner, then paying them to use it, on a property that is financially underwater. Something smells fishy!

  14. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Where is the petition? I will sign it.. This is yet another display of negative anti taxpayer behavior the elected officials have directed at the citizens of Mason City.

  15. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    What happen when the mall owner breaks the lease. he seems like the type of person who would do that. the people of mason city will be stuck with the bill and more debt again.

    Ps: vote no and to John Lee and Bill Schickel. You two Council member took Prestage away from us so lets take this project away from you.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 19, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      The city did not want prestage, D-bag.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 19, 2016 at 4:50 pm

        and people do not want this eather

  16. Avatar

    Anonymous Too Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    This does not make sense to me. Couldn’t we build a new building somewhere that the city could own for that kind of money. I am not opposed to a new Ice arena, just not sure this is the best path to take to get it. Why would we pay the cost of building it then turn around and rent the space we just built??

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 19, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      The whole plan with that Chodur fellow is now backfiring. HA. if the city doesn’t own the property, than the plan shouldn’t carry on. Ridiculous.

  17. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    I’m sure Janet Solberg will save us. And Schoneman, they always have the city’s best interests in mind.

  18. Allen

    Allen Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    This town is being run like the federal government, by spending money that it doesn’t have. The only difference is, that the city can’t print more worthless money.

  19. Avatar

    Pat Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    This is a perfect definition of government stupidity. GIVE $13,000,000. To a low ball private NY owner, then pay him another
    $5,000,000. to rent what you funded 100% with tax money. In a old building he bought for $1,500,000 and has plans to invest how
    much of his money in to accomplish anything beyond landing a
    public sucker with $18,000,000. tax dollars, plus millions in interest cost, to give to him. Where is Trump when you need him?

    Wake up Mson City citizens, and petition for a referendum on this
    waste of millions of public money.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 20, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      LOL. Do some reading on Trump’s plans. This kind of deal is exactly how he wants to do things. Lots of tax credits to pay for public infrastructure but the public is still on the hook for the maintenance.

  20. Avatar

    joshua C Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    So the potential yearly rent is more than what the building was purchased for?

  21. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Did anyone else notice that they timed this for the holiday period when people are busy and out of town? Run this bunch of crooks out of town.

  22. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Sign the petition and vote this down. The city will be in debt for years over this pipe dream. Stop the madness. Vote no.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Too Reply Report comment

      December 19, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      Is there a petition out there to sign?

  23. Avatar

    Sad but true Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2016 at 10:29 am

    if everybody else is smart enough to pass on this bad idea, then just let the taxpayers pay for it, then it don’t cost nothin