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Mason City council approves agreement with G8 Development to build hotel in downtown (video)


This news story was published on December 29, 2017.
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City council tries not
to blow the Renaissance Project.

MASON CITY – The Mason City council on Thursday night approved an agreement with G8 Development, Inc. to build a hotel in the downtown in connection to the Renaissance Project.

Infighting that divided elected officials in city hall and the shot-callers at the downtown Commerce Center into camps favoring G8 Development and Gatehouse Capital came to a head at Thursday night’s City council meeting as the Renaissance Project once again hung in the balance. A failed vote for G8 surely meant the Renaissance Project would be doomed; NIT learned just minutes prior to the city council meeting that the “VOTE YES” posse that recently trekked to Des Moines to lobby for millions in state funds was lambasted by at least one economic development board member for rampant disorganization and failure to produce key elements in the project. A signed agreement with a hotelier and that hotelier’s ability to inject millions of private dollars into their project was demanded by the board; the council knew that failure to produce Thursday night might be a deal-killer.

John Lee:
The leaker
strikes again?

The drama quickly subsided, however, when known Gatehouse supporter Councilman John Lee stated he was not going to vote against the agreement with G8 (he had previously abstained). Days earlier, however, Lee may have been stoking the civil war in town when he apparently leaked an email he received from a Gatehouse executive to KGLO radio (known to support Gatehouse); this resulted in a story that slammed G8 supporter Mayor Eric Bookmeyer for alleged “malicious accusations” and used other terms or phrases like “reputation has been questioned” that might lead the reader to think of the word “lawsuit.” It’s widely known that G8 Development is suing the City and Chamber Director Robin Anderson for meddling in their business.

Steve Noto

Prior to the vote, Chamber of Commerce honcho and Park Inn hotelier Steve Noto spoke at the public forum and expressed dismay at the continued, vicious infighting between the two camps who favor different hotel developers. Mr. Noto, who favors G8, put KGLO’s Robert Fisher on the hot seat for alleged questionable reporting. KGLO and some of its employees are known to support Gatehouse. In fact, G8 owner Philip Chodur blasted Fisher for his alleged bias in the matter, telling him in an email this week “Mr. Fisher, It is crystal clear what your agenda is since boss is Delena Barz, an outspoke critic of G8. I question your wisdom and Delena Barz’s wisdom in putting the State grant at risk.

Robert Fisher:
“I apologize”
for allegedly messing with facts.

“I question the integrity and moral compass of those that chose to interfere in the contractual relationship between the City and G8 Development for their own personal gain,” Mr. Chodur continued.  “If you and Delena are truly interested in the betterment of the City, it is time you stop the nonsense and get behind moving this project forward.”

Fisher wrote, “I will correct myself. I apologize.”

Max Weaver made
serious allegation against
Bill Schickel

Former city councilman Max Weaver also spoke; he criticized the plan and alluded back to his “Plan B” project which he claims will cost the city less. He also blasted Councilman Bill Schickel, a known Gatehouse supporter, for his alleged dubious demand that the City pay Gatehouse tens-of-thousands of dollars for invoices that later proved to be “void”.

Bill Schickel:
Frivolously playing with
taxpayer dollars like
a child playing Monopoly?

One Mason City property and business owner at the meeting told NIT, “If this is true, that Bill Schickel wanted to pay for bogus Gatehouse invoices for a project they will reportedly never complete – I weep for the future of this city. We know Schickel has a dubious past here as an elected official and he seems to be picking up right where he left off years ago. I am in shock and awe at his lack of real-world business experience and common sense. I hope NIT will dig into this serious accusation and find out if it is true. Perhaps he should resign if it IS true.”

Council discussion followed. It was clarified that Mr. Chodur’s lawsuit against the City would be dropped within days of a signed agreement with the City. Various elements in the agreement, such as a rebate on hotel/motel tax collections at the hotel, were discussed. The council voted 6-0 to approve the agreement.  The hotel would be built in the Southbridge Mall parking lot south of Younker’s as part of the Renaissance Project, which also includes a museum, skywalk, convention center, arena and pavilion.

Philip Chodur

Mr. Chodur told NIT Friday afternoon, “We at G8 want to thank the Mayor, Council, and City staff for their tireless efforts to push this project forward. We look forward to working with the Mason City Foundation, Gary Smidt and Steve Noto to create the best possible venue for Mason City. We truly believe that this will become the go to City between Minneapolis and Des Moines.”

Next, the “VOTE YES” posse will likely attend the next economic development board meeting in January in Des Moines and seek the board’s approval of millions of dollars in state tax kickbacks to the city to help pay off millions in general obligation bonds backed by city taxpayers.  An affirmative vote by the board would set off pre-construction planning and activities that would lead to ground breaking.

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24 Responses to Mason City council approves agreement with G8 Development to build hotel in downtown (video)

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 2, 2018 at 11:47 am

    Intellectual property does not have to have a copyright if you can prove it is yours (in court of course which will be easy to do) This whole project is just like putting lipstick on a pig – fools some muslimes some of the time but not the hard working people of America.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 2, 2018 at 6:25 pm

      For there to be any protections, intellectual property must have a trademark, copyright, patent, etc. Without it, too bad. So sad. Better luck next time.

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 31, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Delena Bartz thinks she runs Mason City and she doesn’t even live here. She should be kicked off the music man board and any other mason city boards she’s on. Run for office or something in Ventura if you want to be in charge of something, but quit screwing things up here.

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 31, 2017 at 11:20 am

    these guys a a joke. All with Dean Snyder drafting that was copyrighted.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 31, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      Sounds like Dean Snyder has no one to blame but themselves. Any competent design firm that I know would have put appropriate copyright protections on their intellectual property (drawings, specs).

  4. Avatar

    Former Resident Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Moved away because of all the negative politics by the Chamber and local big shots. They have run many con jobs down the taxpayers throats over the years and this one is just a bigger con job.

    Feel sorry for all my friends in Mason City but they are always welcome to join me in Texas.

    • Avatar

      Former Resident Reply Report comment

      December 30, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      You folks do realize that your property taxes have been doubled over the last ten years!

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 31, 2017 at 2:00 pm

        You can thank Terry Branstad for the property tax increases

  5. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Has everything to do with people and what is in this town for fun. What do you think it’s for? Duh.
    This town is one giant dumb!

  6. Avatar

    The Answer Is Blowing In The Wind Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Lusting after money brings out the worst in people. Lots of money like we have in this project makes it much much worse. Good sense and good judgement gets thrown out the window!

    Should this come to fruition lots of money will change hands. For all the hull-la-BA-loo, 10 years from now this will be another financial debacle for the people of Mason City. More money will be needed and requested to “keep it going”.

    The faces will change but the quest for more tax money won’t!

    When will we ever learn!

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 30, 2017 at 7:54 am

      That has been and will continue to be my point exactly.

    • Avatar

      ‘Nonymus Reply Report comment

      December 30, 2017 at 8:27 am

      Rest assured that when this financial fiasco gets off the ground, the tax payer will be fully funding youth hockey!

  7. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2017 at 5:32 am

    Elizabeth Allison the director of Music man square should be fired for what she has done lately. Sending letters to the state against the mayor and developer and also the letter she sent out to the friends of music man square. She is either incompetent or a liar. I think she is both. Delena Bartz isn’t any better either. Why would she care when she lives in Ventura if our taxes go up or not. They are tied to Robin Anderson who also needs to go.

    • NIT Publisher

      NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      December 30, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      If this is true, please mail a copy of any such letters to NIT. Also, any correspondence between Robin Anderson and state officials, whom we are told she is lobbying (bothering?). We’ll make that public record request, too.

  8. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 29, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    everyone is worried about it in some aspect, don’t worry, its never going to by built.

  9. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 29, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    What? Who are these boring ass slow talkers?
    After hearing Weaver who could stand TRYING to hang in there to hear them! Don’t even know what they said.

    Max how ever you want to dish out the truth is great.
    Logical like always!!! The city’s biggest loss..Weaver and Matt.

    As my millennial son and daughter sit here with me , home for the holiday, look at me and say ” mom that will NOT make me move back ever” I mean sorry but where is the boujey game in that? Sounds like older peoples fun to us….then they will be gone then what?

    Yes straight out of their sweet mouth.
    I suddenly hit my own head and bam it’s TRUE!!!

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 30, 2017 at 7:17 am

      What did they say would get them to move back? This has nothing to do with bringing people back here to live.

      • Avatar

        ‘Nonymus Reply Report comment

        December 30, 2017 at 8:21 am

        Good jobs!

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          December 30, 2017 at 4:14 pm

          Good jobs are not going to come here. We don’t even have a work force that can fill the $10 to $12 a hour jobs.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          December 31, 2017 at 2:07 pm

          Investing in quality of life enhancing projects is one way to make a city more attractive to the young and educated work force that growth industries require.

          Or you can continue down our current trajectory of saying no to everything and watching our town continue to get smaller, older, and poorer.

  10. Avatar

    Ben Reply Report comment

    December 29, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    I can’t believe John Lee has not resigned yet. What arrogance.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 31, 2017 at 11:22 am

      agree. what this councilman did was a major violation, I’d sue him personally if he did that to me.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 31, 2017 at 11:29 am

      No business minds running a do or die plan. What could possibly go wrong.

  11. Avatar

    Ezekiel Reply Report comment

    December 29, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    I wonder what the % chances are that the State will approve the latest version of the proposal.
    If the proposal is accepted, I also wonder what the % chance is that Chodur can fund the project this time around.