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Groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for multi-purpose arena in Mason City


This news story was published on February 1, 2019.
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January 2019 photos of demo of JC Penney

MASON CITY — A groundbreaking and construction kickoff for Mason City’s new multi-purpose arena will take place at noon Monday, February 4.

The celebration will be in the former JC Penney’s location at Southbridge Mall. People wanting to attend should use the North entrance off Washington Avenue just south of CENT Credit Union.

Preliminary drawings by ICON Architectural Group of the proposed center will be unveiled. The drawings will remain on display after the ceremony at Southbridge Mall and City Hall.

The multi-purpose arena is part of Mason City’s $38-million River City Renaissance project approved by voters in 2017.

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43 Responses to Groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for multi-purpose arena in Mason City

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 4, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    The ground breaking ceremony for the new MPA was awesome.
    Thanks to the wisdom & fore-sight of former Mayor Eric Bookmeyer, past and present city council members,
    and the great support from the Mason City Youth Hockey.
    And kudos to Loni Dirksen for all of her rallying efforts.

    And none of this would be possible without the fantastic effort put forth by Robin Anderson, CoC.
    And to Bill Schickel, one of the most hard working and honest people to ever serve Mason City.

    • NIT Publisher

      NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      February 4, 2019 at 3:00 pm

      Umm, let’s pray this comment ages well.

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 4, 2019 at 11:23 am

    Just boycott the arena. Send the message.

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 4, 2019 at 10:47 am

    Let me see – you had a private corporation +asset right – now you have a taxpayer funded what ? Well only the crooks and demos can answer that – they all know working for the taxpayers is more $$$$$ and you really are not responsible to anyone.

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 3, 2019 at 3:16 am

    I’m going and in case any of you needs some Vaseline, ill bring along a cpl of extra jars, super sized ones

  5. Avatar

    It's a farst Reply Report comment

    February 2, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    Wow, maybe they should have held a ceremony showing the people of Mason City, the money from MCYH and all of the financing from the developer and state first.

    This project will be another black hole of indebtedness.

  6. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 2, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Mason City’s very own, “bridge to nowhere”!

  7. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 2, 2019 at 11:59 am

    Bottom Line: The numbers do not work. MCYH is not doing anything additional to support this size of arena. They get a new arena until it is owned by the city thru default. How do we know they can afford this sized arena, have we examined their books? This is the blind leading the blind.

  8. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 2, 2019 at 8:34 am

    I’m surprised the city DIDN’T vote to build it out west at Indianhead and let hardy’s take over the mall an make it a junkyard.

  9. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 2, 2019 at 2:21 am

    they have been excavating the pennys store and now you are all invited to some see the big hole in the dirt that yur money is going to go in, I heard the building is to small to make a hole big enough to put all the money in

    • NIT Publisher

      NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      February 2, 2019 at 6:03 pm

      It is laughable… I don’t ice skate, never will, and don’t give a crap about ice skaters or hockey for that matter it is a boring game. They better make this work, is all I can say.

  10. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 2, 2019 at 12:27 am

    Don’t you people remember what was said a week or so back? The MCYH told the council, if the hockey arena and that is what this has been all along does not get done now, they would have to pull out of the deal. Have you heard if the state has O.K. the funds or if the hotel has got their funding?

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      February 2, 2019 at 12:15 pm

      I heard the state still has not given the official final ok on the whole project.

  11. Avatar

    John Reply Report comment

    February 1, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    I voted yes on this thing and am sorry I did. This piece of the thing will never financially pay for itself. The handwriting in on the wall now, our taxes are going up once again, on top of water, sewer and garbage increases.

    • Avatar

      Observer the Original Reply Report comment

      February 2, 2019 at 1:29 am

      Yes, taxes will go up, it’s a reasonable expectation. The cost of services provided to the community never remains static.

      However, this project, even if it were built with funds other than our taxes, will end up costing local taxpayers. Remember the number given by the committee that proposed this area? Operating costs will be about $692,000 annually. Reasonably, I cannot see that kind of revenue coming from the area, covering that cost in a small town.

      One example; an area in Mississippi had to pass a tax increase to cover the normal costs of operation, and the bonds that paid for building it, amid budget cuts. They are a 46,000 population county, near a few other big cities. They were other such examples across the U.S. I found.

      Here in Mason City, the population continues to decrease, that means there are less taxpayers to shoulder the cost of government, and this pipe dream of a 4,400 seat arena.

      I guarantee, the Hockey group will never be able to cover the costs of this place. And any elected official who, with a straight face will tell you this will not cost additional taxes, is a liar.

      Further, recall the words of the Finance Director this week who said the City was run fiscally conservative. Spending money you do not have, for a project that is not a NEED, is not in any way shape or form, fiscally conservative.

  12. Avatar

    J.W. Sayles Reply Report comment

    February 1, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    Well we all have been hosed and our citizens have been the subject of a Coup d’état. Let me tell you a little story about the death of the first amendment in Mason City.

    My name is James Sayles and I wrote a column for the GLobe Gazette for three year hitting on the problems surfacing with this downtown development effort. Honestly, I was given a good degree of latitude and never was censored….until January 21, 2019. I submitted a column to the editorial board of the Globe as I have done every few weeks for several years.

    On January 21, my column, that took to task at the highest levels of local government the subterfuge and fraud committed against the majority, was uploaded online a day early as always, but 6 hours later, it was pulled and it disappeared. I got an email from the editor of the Globe that said, simply that the publisher, Samuel Gett, had vetoed the publication of the column.

    My January 1 column asked the hard question, do we have a free press that our founders would approve of in the year 2019.

    Well, I got my answer from Sam Gett on 21 January. the 1st Amendment is dead in our local media. When atimely opinion is censored we are in one hell of a state.

    I don’t know how much space I have here to comment, but if Marquardt wants the censored column, I will be glad to provide it. If you have read any of the columns on local issues, you know I have not pulled any punches. I will be there on Monday with a sign and a voice,

    James Sayles

    • NIT Publisher

      NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      February 2, 2019 at 6:17 pm

      James, thank you for sending to NIT the column that the Globe Gazette censored. I am a former long-time employee of the Globe. It is sad to see how corrupt and how close to extinction the hometown newspaper is. I saw this back in 2010 and this was one of the reasons why I created NIT. I try very hard to protect the First Amendment here at NIT. I am proud to accept and publish your column now and anytime in the future.

    • Avatar

      I Should Know Reply Report comment

      February 2, 2019 at 7:21 pm

      J. W. You are confused about what the First Amendment is. All media exercise editorial control over content. It has nothing to do with the government controlling speech.

      • Avatar

        James Sayles Reply Report comment

        February 3, 2019 at 3:47 am

        It is a First Amendment issue when local government applies pressure on the press to censor and block publication of citizen opinion.

        • Avatar

          I Should Know Reply Report comment

          February 3, 2019 at 4:43 pm

          Well, now you’re just making up shit.

          • Avatar

            James Sayles

            February 3, 2019 at 8:19 pm

            My column was 100% about our local government and their failure to adequatley represent all of us. It was pulled 6 hours after publication by publisher Sam Gett. I am not nor claim to be a reporter, but I was provided information that confirmed Gett succumb to the pressure of the Mayor Council Members and Chamber, To censor and withdraw publication. Dozens of citizens had alredy read this column before it was pulled and thier commentary also disappeared. Making shit up? You are the anonymous one who is all cowboy hat and no cattle.

            You want to debate, step out of the shadows. That’s where cowards lurk.

          • NIT Publisher

            NIT Publisher

            February 4, 2019 at 11:32 am

            Gett’s master, Robin, probably called him and yelled at him to take the article down. She runs Mason City and even gets away with crimes (assault). It’s sad the shape that town is in when a person like Old Leather Talons can intimidate/coerce decent folks like police or newspaper publishers to live her nonchalant existence contrary to rules or consequence.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            February 4, 2019 at 9:12 am

            Isn’t it strange that KnowItAll didn’t answer. He never does when people call him out.

  13. Avatar

    MattG Reply Report comment

    February 1, 2019 at 11:48 am

    There is a forming of MC citizens that will be there with signs stating RE-VOTE, and chanting RE-VOTE. JOIN US AT 11:30. Bring signs. Voice your opinion. Show the city your opinions matter!!!
    meeting on the sidewalk on west side corner.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      February 2, 2019 at 9:08 am

      RE-VOTE? Get real!! It’s a day late and public outrage short. Why do you think they have been pushing this boondoggle so fast? It’s to get out ahead of anything like that. Now that have busted-up JC Penney’s, there’s no way they will turn back. If these latecomers want to make a statement, have them sign a petition to expel the City Council from office for lying and deceiving the public.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        February 2, 2019 at 11:50 am

        The statement it would make is…we know you bait and switched us”

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        February 2, 2019 at 11:58 am

        Decisions are not forever!! Especially this stupid one!

  14. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 1, 2019 at 11:38 am

    This arena push through shows the seriousness of the issue that a few citizens on a board have too much city control. When a proposal is voted on and that proposal’s elements change, a re-vote needs to happen. I am disgusted that this bait and switch has occurred and what was a full proposal with multiple elements and voted on, was reduced down to a fragment of the its originalism and pushed through. I feel cheated. I have lived in MC almost my entire life. I own two businesses in this city. I feel baited and cheated. SHAME ON THIS MAYOR AND COUNCIL for not sending this issue back to the citizen’s for a re-vote.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      February 1, 2019 at 12:23 pm

      Help me understand, What elements of the proposal the voters voted on have changed?
      I would think changing it would not be lawful.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        February 2, 2019 at 11:49 am

        the city voted on the ENTIRE plan NOT just and Arena, but now it’s all about an arena. This is 100% about MCYH

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          February 2, 2019 at 12:23 pm

          the whole plan was about the arena and the other parts of the plan,were just smoke and mirrors. there will be no hotel, no convention center no skywalk, no museum, and no performance art pallivon. I beleave in six months the city will say sorry but the other parts need to be droped maybe in the future we could pick the others parts up, but right now we need to put all our energy and money into finishing the arena.

          • Avatar

            none

            February 2, 2019 at 3:14 pm

            That is an excellent and somewhat accurate assessment.

    • Avatar

      Observer the Original Reply Report comment

      February 1, 2019 at 6:36 pm

      One person has too much power. And she calls the shots from 9 N. Federal. And she does not care what it costs the taxpayers either.

      • NIT Publisher

        NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

        February 2, 2019 at 6:12 pm

        My opinion but old Scaly Leather Grip needs to move down to her Alabama Condo and get the hell out of this town so it has a chance, she’s the one ruining it.

  15. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 1, 2019 at 11:02 am

    what a joke. a masquerade joke. Bait and Switch at it’s finest. Congrats to Mason City Youth Hockey, YOU got what you wanted, everyone else…MUH

    • Avatar

      Observer the Original Reply Report comment

      February 1, 2019 at 6:32 pm

      And they have yet to put up the $2 million they promised.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        February 2, 2019 at 11:54 am

        Not only have they NOT placed a payment confirmation in the hands of anyone, has ANYONE DEMANDED to view thier books for the past five years before going to bed with them??? This council is plain stupid.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          February 2, 2019 at 3:25 pm

          Just like the previous school Board and the previous city council and the previous mayor and the list goes on.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            February 3, 2019 at 1:21 pm

            No one worth a hoot wants to be involved in local politics, so we get bottom feeders, and fortune tellers as our local representatives. What has bill accomplished in his life? This town has elected a mooch for mayor a few too many times. If they don’t have real jobs, they shouldn’t even be trusted in positions of authority. Bill is a lazy fraud who should be investigated. His misuse of kcmr facilities for political gain. His paycheck from kcmr for doing nothing. His wife is no better. Leeching from the areas mentally ill. Feeding off of their mental health. Blocking family from helping their own, because they county is afraid of losing state funding for these individuals with mental health issues. When you purposely block family from helping your intentions become selfish.

          • NIT Publisher

            NIT Publisher

            February 4, 2019 at 11:37 am

            Well, pretty much truthful. Last two mayors were (are) real pieces of work. (Losers?) At least Eric got a real job (finally) and isn’t mooching off a Christian rock station. Both play dirty, that’s for sure. And both led MC further down the rabbit hole. Bill was the real pied piper that did it, since the 1990’s really. He’s had his mitts in the cookie jar since then and look how far the town has fallen. But hey, he’ll get re-elected over and over again because zombies vote in hordes.