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Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors approves Clear Lake building transfer

On Tuesday morning, the Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors cleared a major hurdle for a project in Clear Lake that's been in the work for several years now. 

Going back more than two years, the "Everybody Plays Committee" has been fundraising to build an inclusive playground in Clear Lake. But the exact land for the development was an issue until the county approved construction of a new engineering building in Mason City near the county sheriff's office. 

With that move in December 2019, the county decided to sell off existing engineering properties it had across the county and consolidate to just one location. Which meant that the Everybody Plays Committee and the city of Clear Lake had possible land available to them. 

At its meeting this week, the three-member panel unanimously approved conveyance of interest in real estate to Clear Lake for $250,000 so that when the county is all moved out of the location in the next three months the City can begin development.

Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors

Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors

"This whole process has gone very very well. Very very smoothly," Clear Lake Mayor Nelson Crabb told the board just before it approved the plans.

According to Crabb, the City and the County had to work toward an agreed upon price and once they did that they had something that would be mutually beneficial.

"This will help not just Clear Lake but the county as well," Crabb said.

Clear Lake Second Ward Councilman Bennett Smith was also in attendance and echoed what Crabb said about the development at 109 S. 15th St.

"It’s a very exciting project... As the mayor put it, it’s going to be a great project for both Clear Lake and the County."

Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors- Nelson Crabb

Clear Lake Mayor Nelson Crabb speaks with the Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors before they approved plans to transfer real estate from the county to the city. 

"I don’t think this could’ve gone any more smoothly than it did," Crabb told the three-member board. 

The ultimate plan for the land is to use it for an inclusive playground.

The county supervisors then reciprocated the enthusiasm from their Clear Lake counterparts. 

"I appreciate my colleagues up here on this side of the table working with me," said Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors Chair Casey Callanan whose father actually serves on the Clear Lake City Council. 

Callanan also said that he saw the project as one that's best for the County and the City alike.

"This was a major collaboration. Thanks for working with us on this," District Three Supervisor Chris Watts added to the discussion.

"It’s a win win and I think taxpayers are the winners today," District One Supervisors Tim Latham said in voting for the project. 

The plan moving forward is to break ground on the project in 2021. In addition to the engineering property, Clear Lake purchased the former Woodford Lumber & Home Co. building on North Fourth Street for future park and library expansion projects, respectively.

The transference is just one move the county supervisors have pointed to as being a win for taxpayers. 

The week-prior, all three board members unanimously approved turning down a recommended pay increase of 2.75% from the county compensation board.

After the move, Watts pointed out that it was "the fifth year in a row the supervisors declined the pay raise."

According to them, their intent with the move, as with approving the building transfer, was to benefit the residents of the county.

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The Bushel Boy Farms greenhouse on 240th Street in Mason City.

Jared McNett covers local government for the Globe Gazette. You can reach him at Jared.McNett@globegazette.com or by phone at 641-421-0527. Follow Jared on Twitter at @TwoHeadedBoy98.

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