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FOREST CITY - Announcements of new businesses, new hires and new programs were just some of the topics discussed at the most recent Forest City Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Coffee meeting.

Among these, City Administrator Barbara Smith announced the city will be building a new trailhead, implementing online payments for utility bills and looking at the future of the Shopko building.

Trailhead

The city recently obtained the empty lot on the edge of town along State Highway 9, next to the house at 18543 State Highway 9, from the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Smith said the lot will be a trailhead for the Hanson Trail leading out of town and connecting to Pilot Knob Park.

“Economic Development fronted the funds to purchase the property from the DOT, and Norma with Grow Forest City will do fundraising to repay Economic Development,” Smith said. “So, the City was a pass-through for the purchase rather than the official purchaser.”

Smith said she had received word last week that the City was awarded the property.

Online payments

The City is hoping the online payment processing will be available by May 1, depending on the utility billing software company, which has some things they need to do on their end prior to going live, according to Smith.

Smith said in using the electronic payment system, residents will be able to access past invoices and payments, which will then post directly to their account.

“Along with paying for utility bills online, residents will be able to pay for various police department violations and Parks and Rec programs,” Smith said. “All of this will be through the City’s website.”

Shopko building

Smith said during the meeting two to three businesses have expressed interest in moving into the building on Highway 9 after Shopko has closed. However, Smith said she was not at liberty to discuss the possible new businesses in detail at this time.

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