MASON CITY | Dean Snyder Construction Co. of Clear Lake was treated unfairly during the process that led to the Mason City Council approving G8 Development to build the downtown hotel, a company official said Friday.
Dean Snyder Construction had been working with Gatehouse Mason City LLC for several months on the project. Gatehouse was the only bidder until G8 entered a bid at the last moment and was selected by the council for the project.
"There were certain aspects of the last six weeks that did seem a little unfair," said Kolton Wagaman, project manager for Dean Snyder.
"One important example: G8 being allowed to turn in a proposal that had copies of Dean Snyder drawings within it that our design team worked hard on. This was a pretty egregious action and it seemed to go completely ignored throughout the process," Wagaman said.
"With how it was handled Dean Snyder felt we had no other choice but to send out cease and desist letters to both G8 and the city of Mason City. This letter went ignored by the city," he said.
At a City Council meeting earlier this month, Director of Development Services Steven Van Steenhuyse acknowledged that G8 had used Gatehouse's drawings but said it had no bearing on the bid-off process that resulted in G8 getting City Council approval.
Mason City Mayor Eric Bookmeyer said he had no comment Friday and referred the Globe Gazette to Interim City Administrator Kevin Jacobson or Van Steenhuyse. Neither could be reached Friday afternoon.
Wagaman and Dean Snyder also took issue with city officials saying "local" involvement was a factor in making the decision to go with G8. "We felt that argument was weak at best," Wagaman said. "We have been working in Mason City for countless years, we are a member of the Chamber of Commerce, not to mention that we have multiple employees who actually live there."
Wagaman said the company worked on the project for eight months and was ecstatic when Mason City voters approved two public issues related to the project on Nov. 7 when Gatehouse was the only developer in the picture.
"The process of a project falling through after time was spent on it isn't really that unusual in this industry," Wagaman said. "This specific project, however, is unique in the manner it fell through. That was new for us."
Nonetheless, he said, the company respects the decision of the council and the difficult decision it had to make.
"Many exciting things are to come involving the River City Renaissance Project and we are confident that with the new council and mayor, they will be handled with great care."