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Update from Brent Trout, City Administrator of Mason City

City Administrator Brent Trout

Issued August 18, 2017

CITY HALL – Development Services Department staff members continue to work on a number of projects for the community. They recently forwarded a new CoRL loan to City Council Members that was approved by you for the Blue Heron Bar and Grill located at 1401 N. Federal Avenue. They also completed disbursements for the Ashley Inn Motel ($30,000) and NIT Headquarters ($30,000) in July. Staff also continues to work with lISC students and faculty to develop a project list for next year. They will be working on a project with Cerro Gordo Public Health Department to integrate health outcomes and public health planning with land use, housing and economic issues. The mural being painted on the back of Brick Furniture is also a result of the lISC program.

Nuisance Code Enforcement had 237 requests initiated in July, with 192 initiated by staff and 45 by other sources. The top two types of complaints were 104junk, rubbish or refuse and 55 inoperable vehicles. In addition to these complaints, they handled 45 cases related to weeds and tall grass. Safety trainings occurred this July on the areas of lockout/tagout, confined spaces, hazard communication and walking- working surfaces.

The Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery held their 150th year celebration event in July. The hot and humid weather kept attendance low but those that attended had a wonderful time. Fiscal year 2017 was a good year for the sale of interment rights, number of burials, foundation sales and vase sales all being up over the previous year.

The additional highlights of their year included the Lullaby Lane project by Leadership North Iowa, the CLG grant award for developing the nomination papers for the National Register of Historic Places and the development of the online search of the Cemetery’s burial records. The MacNider Art Museum conducted a historic homes tour in July that sold out of tickets. The staff led tours of four historic homes in Mason City. The tickets sold for $25 apiece and 200 tickets were sold.

Engineering Department continues to make progress on many projects. Please refer to the report for details on any projects you have an interest in. The weather has been favorable and the projects continue to push ahead to completion. The natural gas project for Alliant Energy continues to move ahead quickly and has kept our staff busy with locates and inspection of the repair of the sidewalks/streets once an area of the project is complete. The Finance Department is still working to replace our GIS analyst position after a couple of attempts to find a candidate that were not successful. Interviews will be conducted within the next week and hopefully a candidate will be found and brought before City Council for approval in September.

The Street Division and Park Division had a very busy July preparing for the BBQ Bash and Friday Night Live events. The events require a large number of picnic tables and trash cans to be moved to each venue to support the expected crowds. It also requires many hours of clean up and movement of items back when the event is complete. They do an outstanding job supporting the many community events held in our parks each year. Police Officers from the Mason City Police Department assisted the Clear Lake and Charles City Police Departments during their recent visits from RAGBRAI. The overtime incurred will be reimbursed by each of the communities. The overnight stays went very well and each community appreciated the officers’ presence.

Brent Trout
City Administrator

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