Well this makes sense when you think about it.
The status of $7 to $10 million in state funding from the Iowa Economic Development Authority has remained in limbo as the agency awaits confirmation that G8 Development can secure private financing to build a Marriott franchise hotel near Southbridge Mall.
Turns out developer Philip Chodur is having difficulty securing the necessary commitment from creditors because a development agreement with Mason City isn’t finalized.
And the development agreement won’t be finalized until the city receives confirmation from IEDA that the project will be awarded the aforementioned state funding.
So everyone wants this to happen, but no one wants to be the first to put their assets on the line.
It’s hard to fault Chodur and his potential backers.
The hotel is to be part of an approximately $38 million project, of which the state funds represent a sizable chunk.
Without the proposed ice arena, conference center and performance pavilion, another downtown hotel isn’t really needed and likely isn’t financially viable.
Potential creditors would naturally want assurances the whole plan will come together before taking the plunge.
There seems a simple and obvious compromise to end this tail chasing.
G8 creditors could commit in writing to provide financing contingent upon receipt of the state funds.
IEDA could in turn accept this as adequate proof of financing and make a determination as to whether the project will be funded, and at what level.
The city could then finalize the development agreement, and all parties could finally move on to whatever turns out to be the next episode in this continuing drama.
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File this under “that’s just wrong”...
Last month, about 100 protesters from across the state picketed the Shell Rock home of Iowa Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix.
The union members and other Democratic activists oppose Republican changes to collective bargaining for state workers, their tax and spending priorities, and Dix’s handling of a sexual harassment case that led to a $1.75 million settlement, among other issues.
Certainly those who disagree with Republican leadership have a right and a responsibility to work towards change. This is a terrible way to go about it.
Ironically, Dix wasn’t home during the protest that led police to barricade the street in front of his house.
Several neighbors were at home, however. These folks — who may or may not be Dix supporters — didn’t deserve to be bothered and inconvenienced simply because they live near a prominent state politician.
(Despite being a registered Republican, I agree with the protesters on some of their issues, but I gotta tell you: I likely wouldn’t have reacted well had that circus pitched its tent near my house.)
Dix also has a wife and three children. Admittedly, I haven’t researched the kid’s ages or whether they live at home, but in general, youngsters could certainly find it upsetting, if not intimidating, to discover a chanting, sign-wielding throng on their doorstep.
Politics has taken on an increasingly confrontational flavor of late. While much of the blame can be laid at the feet of President Donald Trump and a portion of his supporters, personal attacks such as those orchestrated by these protesters only throw gas on the fire.
Decent people on both sides of the isle often leave or never seek public office rather than subject their families and friends to the heat.
Those opposed to Dix and his policies should take their protests to the Iowa State Capitol or to public forums where he is acting in his official capacity.
Better still, they should put down their signs and channel their energy into positive campaigning for candidates more to their liking. Why not work for something rather than against something?
Targeting elected officials at their private residences has the potential to take politics down an ugly road. Let’s not go there.