The Vision Iowa Board has agreed in principle to a contract negotiated between city, county and state officials on Mason City’s 9 million-dollar award to renovate the Park Inn Hotel and make other improvements in the city.
The Mason City City Council last week approved a new plan which would give the Park Inn about 8.2 million dollars of the money. Vision Iowa Board chairman Andy Anderson told the board that the project is maybe more solid now than it was originally when the board approved it in March.
"The way we’ve restructured it…it makes it a more viable, solid project," Anderson said. Mason City Chamber of Commerce executive director Robin Anderson told the board that there is still a lot of fundraising to go, but they are thankful the board was patient with Mason City.
"We think that once our community sees this can be done, we’ll be ready to take on other things without so much strife," Anderson said. A new performing arts pavilion for East Park as well as proposed improvements to the trail systems were dropped as part of the compromise.
A final contract must still be written out for the new agreement, meaning the Vision Iowa Board will have to hold another meeting in the near future to formally approve the terms of the new contract. The next regularly scheduled meeting is slated for December 10th, but the board likely will hold a conference call instead of waiting until December.