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Mason City council ready to award first bid for work on multi-purpose arena


This news story was published on January 15, 2019.
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Mayor Bill Schickel

MASON CITY – The Mason City council is set to award the first bid for work on the planned multi-purpose arena that will be constructed in the former JC Penney building in Southbridge Mall.

Mayor Bill Schickel said Monday that the action will be taken Tuesday night at the city council meeting, 7 PM at the library.  Five “very competitive” bids were turned in to demo the interior of the vacant retail box, he says, but the lucky winner will likely be Charleson Excavating of Clear Lake as the low bidder. Schickel said in a social media video that the bids ranged from over $800,000 to just $290,000.

Once the demo of the interior of the building is completed, the next rounds of bids will be for the actual construction of the arena. The arena needs to be completed as soon as possible, it has been said by officials, to accommodate the ice enthusiasts in town.

Soon-to-be home for a multi-purpose arena.

Meanwhile, opposition to the project festers in the community, with some questioning the cost, location, and other attributes of the arena and the so-called Renaissance Project.  Calls for action and attendance at tonight’s council meeting were made on social media platforms, with some citizens sounding off on their confusion with the project and apprehension of high tax rates already in the community and the prospect of taxpayers covering construction costs and on-going arena and mall maintenance as well as lease fees paid over decades to the mall owner, Michael Kohan.

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59 Responses to Mason City council ready to award first bid for work on multi-purpose arena

  1. Avatar

    Ezekiel Reply Report comment

    January 17, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    And the clown car runs on and on.
    Why doesn’t the State pull the plug on this?

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 16, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    let’s talk beer sales. the bulls i doubt will be giving that up without a fight. and its my understanding that you can not sell beer at the youth games. do the math over lee. you’re not taking in the cost of running the arena

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 16, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Start posting personal numbers and addresses of those responsible for this crap. Is time for a good old public shaming.

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 16, 2019 at 11:58 am

    ummm hey how about finishing the north end.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 16, 2019 at 1:15 pm

      the north end is finished, and has been for several decades

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 16, 2019 at 2:42 pm

        How about you get your head out of your ass?

    • NIT Publisher

      NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      January 16, 2019 at 4:02 pm

      Too far from Robin’s puppet palace at 9 North Federal.

  5. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 16, 2019 at 11:52 am

    Hey MC wake up: you’re a retirement town with dwindling population. Moving an ice arena and spending thousands to do the move for MCYH will not support any additional revenue. Ask yourself, what is MCYH gonna do differently to bring in more revenue? It’s just a newer building and prettier building for the SAME purpose. Funded by the citizens of MC. MC Hockey put pressure on the downtown business community to push it through. A fraction of the original voted on plan, a bait and switch at it’s peek. Promising concerts (that won’t work from a signing/rider and echo point of view) and credit for machinery that the hockey people need to run THEIR business, plus MCYH gets to name the facility and sell sponsorships. GREAT DEAL FOR HOCKEY- EVERYONE ELSE MUH. We all better take up skating or open our wallets and purses.

    • NIT Publisher

      NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      January 16, 2019 at 4:06 pm

      It was scary how the dude from Dakota couldn’t answer questions from Councilman Masson on how long it would take and cost to convert the arena from ice to show-ready. This will end up being a big problem, just wait and see, my prediction. But ya beer is a big draw (the billboards in town prove it) and $7.fitty a glass will be real palatable for the low-wage earners in town who serve Robin and Bill their fries (Bill is also a low wage earner, has he ever worked for a profitable outfit?)

  6. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 16, 2019 at 10:59 am

    hockey needs to be more transparent abput where they claim $909000 of assests. NIT- thier 990 says “availible on request”
    no other youth hockey program in Iowa is claiming that kind of money.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 16, 2019 at 12:10 pm

      …..how about showing the citizens a payment confirmation listing these funds MCHockey? All bull and no horns like G8. We need to see the last 5 years of your books too, before going to bed with you.

      • NIT Publisher

        NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

        January 16, 2019 at 12:29 pm

        A fair request. No bank would do business with a citizen without apprising that person’s ability to deliver a return on investment, so to speak. It should be the same in this case. The citizens are the bank here – we (through city council) sold bonds to pay for this, they are backed by the taxpayers, who are taking a big risk by re-investing the dollars back into the downtown (again… how about looking at our deteriorating neighborhoods?). I suggest the City leaders get a little tougher with the parties involved here (MC Hockey, Kohan, Rachie) and deliver some news to the community on how they are holding up their end of the bargain. Right now, it is all MC taxpayers.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Too Reply Report comment

          January 16, 2019 at 3:57 pm

          So last night at the council meeting they approved the bid for demolition of the inside of the JC Penny building basically the first step in the multi purpose arena. What happens I’d G8 Hotel financing fall through and no hotel is built? Do they just stop building the arena? Do the tax payer foot the bill? Why are they starting the project when not all the player are in yet?

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            January 17, 2019 at 9:22 am

            A-HA! Finally, someone asking the right question. Everyone else on here is flying off the handle about a bunch of details(although.some of the details are important and noteworthy). The question just posed is the real issue–has anyone asked the council that question? does anyone know the answer? what if the answer is that they will build it anyway? what does that mean? NIT we are counting on you to ask the hard questions that other media is either too afraid or too incompetent to ask.

          • NIT Publisher

            NIT Publisher

            January 17, 2019 at 11:27 am

            Its now Gatehouse (again) not G8. As I understand it, clearly, this arena is getting built no matter what. They’ll start the interior demo in February (barring another setback.)

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          January 17, 2019 at 12:21 pm

          so let me understand. you are all worried about weather the bulls will get beer sales; and the value of MCYH equipment; and the transparency of the Hockey groups fundraising efforts but you arent up in arms that the arena could be built with no hotel(which also means no grant funds)? Under that scenario the taxpayers fund almost the whole thing? This deal(to borrow a word from Mr. Masson) gets uglier and uglier the more you look into it. Again, stop focusing on silly details and non-issues and look into the big potential issue—no hotel/no grant.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            January 18, 2019 at 2:17 pm

            “silly details” to you maybe. The arena looks like it is getting pushed though. I want to see the details. Silly…but it matters, maybe just to me why can’t Rec take this over? or the Bulls? has anyone even heard from them? If its MCYH then they are up for public “scrutiny.” The council stated the reason this needs to be fast is that hockey needs the arena. Fast raises a flag…sweeping under the rug. We are building the arena for them. We are making deals with suspicious mall owners all for YH. WHY? no one can give a good reason besides hockeys “current” situation? if the equipment is crap then it wont be worth more at the new arena?
            I am really starting not to GAF at all because Hockey gets what they want no matter what. Im happy they can continue there non profit mission with little cost to them. thats fair.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 16, 2019 at 12:13 pm

      you do not have any idea what you are talking about. MC Youth Hockey operates their arena. which is unique, no other youth program in Iowa owns/operates their own ice arena. Thus, it is completely to be expected that they would own more assets than any other program.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 16, 2019 at 1:33 pm

        they dont “own” the arena

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          January 16, 2019 at 1:37 pm

          are they claiming to own the arena? Is that why their assets are so high? seriously? NIT-dig here

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 16, 2019 at 1:58 pm

        MC youth hockey owns equipment, no building or arena. Maybe YOU should get your facts straight. North iowa events center owns the arena, and rents it to multiple groups throughout the year.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          January 16, 2019 at 2:06 pm

          oh, I understand the facts. MCYH owns the equipment and maintains the building during the ice season. My point was, this arrangement is unique to MC other youth organizations in the state do not-thus the reason why MCYH claims more “assets” than other organizations-which was questioned earlier. Also, why does everyone keep asking MCYH to “show the money”. They have pledged the money to the project and I’m sure a capital campaign will be forth coming and paid to the city to refund a portion of the bonds over time. Or, the funds will be borrowed privately if needed. the requirement was to pledge the funds-not to have them before the project was even approved.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            January 16, 2019 at 2:15 pm

            no one said show me the money here…i think that remark is for ppl.who are wondering who this so called donor will be as soon as the project is cleared. if youre going to donate to youth hockey then donate already…waiting to donate for this project to go thru is raising eyebrows.
            I was mentioning thier assets they are claiming. show me proof that they outright own these items and I know i will feel better. i can only speak for myself. I’ve researched other arenas and other program and it just doesn’t add up to me

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            January 16, 2019 at 2:31 pm

            and yes MCYH is unique, they seem to continue to want and expect everything to be handed to them while they make bank. thats a good reason why we havent seen or heard of a contract from them yet.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            January 16, 2019 at 2:45 pm

            Thier old equipment and building they claim is falling apart is worth $1mil ? They stated the equipment is out of date and not used anymore.
            Agreed lets see some paperwork on this.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            January 16, 2019 at 2:55 pm

            The majority of people who are trying to push this crap through are either mentally ill, drunks, or fake wealthy. You all are cash poor and damn well know it. Can’t keep up with their equipment, or any of the buildings they already use, what changes in the new place?

          • NIT Publisher

            NIT Publisher

            January 16, 2019 at 3:57 pm

            “I’m sure a capital campaign will be forth coming…” Isn’t that a bit overdue at this point? Does anyone really believe this? “They have pledged the money… the requirement was to pledge the funds-not to have them…” = WEAK. And sad (comical), really. No one in real life does business this way that is serious about protecting their investment, meaning, the folks (us) that are putting up the dollars at risk in the investment. Again, no bank would ever do business this way, except the gullible MC citizens who have become the bank in this deal. I sure hope they sell a lot of $7.50 beers multiple nights a week to pay this off and then crash in that fancy hotel (rent the rooms) so the state collects the tax over decades and then slow-drips it back to us gullible zombies. We’ll see what the receipts look like in a year or so.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          January 16, 2019 at 2:07 pm

          i would go as far at this point to see if they own anything they use. If they were more transparent it would be better for them. they are local and could easily put ppls minds at ease with more information. as a non profit they should be willing to show this in a heartbeat.

  7. Avatar

    Observer the Original Reply Report comment

    January 16, 2019 at 4:05 am

    “to accommodate the ice enthusiasts in town.”

    That’s fine. Where is the $2 million they promised? As far as I know, they have not contributed one penny to this project. Yet, the project is all about them, not the rest of the community.

    Echoing Chicagoan Clara Peller; “where’s the beef!?”

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 16, 2019 at 9:48 am

      Why do you all seem to focus on the relatively minor issues with this project (ie excavation bids and when Hockey pays their pledge-which all they had to do was pledge it-there would be no reason for it to be paid now–the project hasn’t even been started and was only recently approved). The real issue is that if there is no Hotel (which as far as I know there is no assurance that there will be) than there is no grant money/ no private development/and the only tax increment(new property tax) available would be those that the city are paying on the leased space. What all this means is that the original vision as was sold to us was that there would be no property taxes–without a hotel(again which isn’t assured) the WHOLE project will be paid with our property tax dollars! Stop trying to find silly little details to be mad about the real issue is right in front of you-and it’s significant!

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 16, 2019 at 2:31 pm

      School board stole it from them

  8. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 15, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    I dont think it’s a coincidence that the Council are recommending Charlson Excavating from Clear Lake for the project at the low bid. They came in at $ 290,000. Why would the bids range upwards to
    $ 800,000. They low-balled the contract bid. How can the numbers be so drastically different ?? This does not pass the smell test in my way of thinking !!

  9. Avatar

    a Reply Report comment

    January 15, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    Mason City residents have learned that money that should have went to our children’s schools went to peoples wallet’s. Another local story broke recently about our city council members drama and of course money. Money from taxpayers. Now this multipurpose arena. Seriously. Is this something our community needs? What we need is to help our local schools and truly give our children a well rounded education. Community support that actually cares for the people that live here without the need to make profit off it. And here’s an idea actually listen to the residents living here our thoughts, ideas and opinions with an open mind. Money needs to be spend on benefiting a community not just a select few.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 15, 2019 at 4:36 pm

      The city Council did listen to the citizens in the form of a referendum vote, a vote that passed by nearly 75%.

      • NIT Publisher

        NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

        January 15, 2019 at 7:28 pm

        Using spin, lies and weasel salesmen.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          January 15, 2019 at 7:33 pm

          Sounds like you are talking about NIT.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            January 16, 2019 at 8:14 am

            Sounds more like our city council to me.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 16, 2019 at 7:40 pm

        True…but there was only a 6% Voter Turnout ! Or, 1080 out of 18,000, Registered Voters? Hardly a majority of the Citizens of Mason City. Now, it’s the fault of all the lazy or apathetic people who stayed home.on Election night. Now, only a little over 1,000 people are driving the entire Downtown Renaissance Project.Think about that next time you think your vote doesn’t count.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 16, 2019 at 2:34 pm

      This community needs something.

  10. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 15, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Gather up all the info on this project and send it to the DCI to investigate it. Just like the MCHS. Plus demand a REVOTE due to changes to the plan.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 15, 2019 at 2:44 pm

      What changes? Its seems to me that its the exact same project voters overwhelming approved.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 16, 2019 at 11:40 am

        It is a fraction of the overall plan that was ‘sold’ to the town

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 16, 2019 at 11:42 am

        This was and is all about MC Youth Hockey. Look at what the city’s contract with them, that is ridiculous what MC conceded.

  11. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 15, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    Use of the
    Rehabilitation Tax
    Credit by Lessees
    Prepared by Mark Primoli
    Internal Revenue Service
    The purpose of this brief is to review the
    circumstances under which a lessee can
    claim the rehabilitation tax credit.
    Expenditures Made by Lessee
    Internal Revenue Code Section
    47(c)(2)(B)(vi) provides that a lessee is
    eligible to claim a rehabilitation tax
    credit when the lessee incurs the cost of
    rehabilitation and the lease term is
    greater than the recovery period
    determined under Internal Revenue Code
    Section 168(c) – currently 39 years for
    non-residential real property and 27.5
    years for residential rental. The lessee,
    under these conditions, can claim the
    rehabilitation tax credit on qualified
    rehabilitation expenditures provided the
    ìsubstantial rehabilitation testî is met.

  12. Avatar

    Ha!!! Taxpayers are gonna get shafted Reply Report comment

    January 15, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Bill is blinded by the power of the Holy Spirit and his Apostles in City Council. You the tax payer are gonna get shafted so bad.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 15, 2019 at 12:22 pm

      Bill is a fake christian that takes money from non profits for doing nothing. Who thinks he actually does stuff at kcmr? I have a very reliable source saying he used the office for political calls, and has never actually worked the radio equipment like all of the volunteers that actually work there. If he’s that lazy at a non profit, what does he do for the city? He’s gone through life living off of others, doing bare minimums. He’s a bum.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 15, 2019 at 12:23 pm

        The people of mason city elected a fancy dressing lazier version of max weaver. Weaver at least is open about his lifestyle.

  13. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 15, 2019 at 11:35 am

    isnt Clear lake excavators on the youth hockey board?

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 15, 2019 at 3:10 pm

      what does that have 2 do with ir

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 16, 2019 at 12:02 pm

      conflict of interest abound on this whole project

  14. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 15, 2019 at 11:33 am

    a majority of the projected revenue will be made from property tax. Under the exempt irs rule we have a little thing called “disqualified lease” clause. this property has a great case for filing a tax exempt under this rule.

  15. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 15, 2019 at 10:57 am

    If you can’t trust Slick Willie and his crew….just who can you trust? Robin ? Threw her name in the hat just ……….for laughs! 🙂

  16. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 15, 2019 at 10:42 am

    just remember, Bill says your taxes wont go up!
    And the school wont steal your money!
    And Music Man Square is doing well!

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 15, 2019 at 10:59 am

      Wake up Mason City !! .I agree.. we are about to take it in the shorts !!