We support the Mason City Council's action to move the River City Renaissance Project forward. By quickly – and easily – identifying Gatehouse Mason City, LLC as its on-again development partner, this $39 million plan is back to the place where it's received its widest support.
Recall just over a year ago, Mason City voters approved two bond measures related to the plan. While officials were adamant that the election was about funding and not the developer, voters were moved by Gatehouse's ideas and pedigree.
Both bond measures were approved by a whopping 75 percent of voters. Additionally and in an off year, the turnout in November 2017 was the highest in 20 years.
Voters trusted Gatehouse's plan over any other.
We're hopeful the 2018 version is very similar to what we saw a year ago. It addresses the needs of several groups and allows for an expedited timeline than what has occurred thus far.
The council also moved to put down ice in Southbridge Mall. A key part of the River City Renaissance Project, the Mason City Youth Hockey Association can't wait any longer on the multipurpose arena.
We reported two years ago that the winter sports situation at the North Iowa Events Center was unsustainable. As the hotel portion of the project took numerous turns, the urgent want for a new sheet of North Iowa ice has melted into a dire need.
We've also consistently reported on the delinquent tax issues facing mall owner Mike Kohan. The latest includes bounced checks to Cerro Gordo County. If Kohan needed a nudge to start paying his bills on time, the council gave him a shove with these votes.
The city, throughout this saga, budgeted for this project so the money is available to begin work now. With the support behind Gatehouse already voiced by voters, there's no reason to wait on the details to begin work on the ice.
Act on puppy mills
The rescue of dozens of Samoyeds from a property in Worth County reminds us that the puppy mill industry is in need of more eyes and legislative cooperation.
Worth County Sheriff Dan Fank summed the individual role well: “People have to report this stuff. Call law enforcement, call somebody and at least have it looked into. (It's) too much of a society where you turn your face and people don't want to get involved.”
It's a message that extends beyond our furbabies and has also played a role in solving domestic violence, fraud, burglary and other criminal cases. To keep our communities safe, we have to let law enforcement know when someone or something is threatened.
Additionally, our leaders in Des Moines have consistently rejected proposals to toughen standards for problem breeders. That leaves Iowa consistently among the friendliest states for filthy puppy havens.
It's a dubious and unnecessary distinction.
There are common sense solutions that wouldn't impact agriculture producers but would allow law enforcement the resources to stop the bad actors.
Iowa is still looking to its leaders to show that humanely raising these animals is not only an option, it's expected.
Local editorials represent the opinion of the Globe Gazette editorial board, which consists of Publisher Samuel Gett, Editor David Mayberry, News Editor Ashley Miller and Regional Editor Jim Cross. Contact the board or send letters to email@example.com.