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Mason City Arena receives “2020 Best Development Award” in the Renovated Civic category by 1000 Friends of Iowa



This news story was published on December 31, 2020.
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MASON CITY – 1000 Friends of Iowa proudly announces ten recipients of its Best Development Awards for 2020 in eight categories. These recipients were chosen because they implemented the efficient use of resources to develop sustainable communities and provide a high quality of life.

Mason City arena interior

In the Renovated Civic category, the Mason City Arena in Mason City was selected for converting a vacant shopping mall space into an ice skating arena to fit the recreational needs of the community with many positive trickle-down effects.

“The recognition of the Mason City Arena by 1000 Friends of Iowa is truly special because the award embodies the focus of the River City Renaissance,” said City Administrator Aaron Burnett. “This development effort is pushing new density into Mason City’s downtown and creating an attractive walkable area with numerous entertainment and dining options close to newly renovated and newly constructed downtown housing options. The Mason City Arena is transformative for the heart of our community and is bringing new life to once vacant and abandoned buildings. The community’s progressive steps towards sustainable development will continue to drive momentum for many years to come.”

The Best Development Award Program recognizes projects in up to 12 different categories as a way for 1000 Friends of Iowa to express the fact that smart land use and sustainable communities are more than constructed buildings. All of the award recipients help advance sustainability across our state by considering site design, outdoor and indoor environmental impact, community and public use, and long-term benefits.

A virtual Awards Ceremony will be held in January, 2021. State legislative leaders will be invited to speak. The ceremony will be open to the public and followed by time for media questions. More information will become available in the near future.

Founded in 1998, 1000 Friends of Iowa is the only organization in the state focused solely on promoting responsible land use in community, state, and federal development decisions. Its mission is to unite Iowans in efforts to protect farmland and natural areas, revitalize neighborhoods, towns and cities, and improve quality of life for future generations.

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9 Responses to Mason City Arena receives “2020 Best Development Award” in the Renovated Civic category by 1000 Friends of Iowa

  1. Earl Munkey Reply Report comment

    January 2, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    Too bad the rest of the mall is vacant wasteland. Step across the street from the arena and you are in the highest concentration of scrudbuckets in North Iowa. Not to mention the guy the city gave the mall to hasn’t paid a dime toward his taxes. But go ahead, shine a little spotlight on your empty award.

  2. Southsider Reply Report comment

    January 2, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    It not the arena that’s a bad thing! It’s the 28 square miles of crap around it!

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 1, 2021 at 11:45 am

    Hey folks, The Mason City Arena received the 1000 Friends of Iowa Best Development Award for 2020. WOW, fantastic!! What an honor. According to City Administrator Aaron Burnett “This development effort is pushing new density into Mason City’s downtown and creating an attractive walkable area with numerous entertainment and dining options”. Ok, Aaron, but did the 1000 Friends of Iowa award some cash to help pay off the enormous debt your arena has cause the taxpayers of Mason City? And what about the COVID-19 occupancy restrictions on entertainment and dining establishments? Will the 1000 Friends be handing out face masks, and vaccine shots? Just thought I’d ask.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 1, 2021 at 12:00 pm

      What ‘debt’ has this caused for Mason City tax payers????

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 2, 2021 at 2:36 pm

        The $14 million in city bonds the Taxpayers are obligated to pay back, with interest. If you want the actual numbers contact the City Finance Department.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          January 2, 2021 at 2:37 pm

          Mic drop

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          January 3, 2021 at 12:02 pm

          They’re TIF bonds. Mason City taxpayers don’t pay for TIF bonds. MEGA Mic drop.

          • Anonymous

            January 3, 2021 at 10:36 pm

            Mason City taxpayers don’t pay for TIF bonds? Not correct. Tax increment financing bonds are issued with the full faith and credit of the City of Mason City (taxpayers), meaning, if the incremental tax revenues are not sufficient to pay the debt service on the bonds, the City (taxpayers) must do so.

          • Anonymous

            January 3, 2021 at 10:58 pm

            Geezus, this site finds the dumbest of the dumb. You say I’m incorrect, but then you provide additional information which proves I’m right. You just said it yourself, TIF bonds are not repaid by the taxpayers of Mason City. TIF bonds are not necessarily backed by the full faith and credit of the city.