Two North Iowa projects – one seemingly never-ending, the other still early in the planning stages – offer the region an optimistic outlook.
The River City Renaissance Project, despite the latest delay, remains a positive pitch to revive the core of Mason City. Alternately, G8 Development's inability to provide required paperwork to help the city secured state funding is undoubtedly disappointing.
But feedback from board members with the Iowa Economic Development Authority should be the focus.
"We want to see movement and progress..." David Bernstein told the Globe Gazette. "… I’m a fan of this project."
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Given the five-year history of the on-again, off-again plan, the latest delay shouldn't be surprising, and the IEDA board recognizes that. A project of this size, particularly when a significant portion includes public funding, is bound to require additional steps and safeguards.
What the state board is asking of Philip Chodur, president and CEO of G8, is exactly that. The requirement is reasonable and is a responsible request to ensure the best, safest use of public money.
City officials are also evaluating options that involve G8 and others that do not. It's a responsible action that will ensure the project proceeds in a responsible manner.
Word is out on another sizable project in Clear Lake.
A hotel with an indoor waterpark and adjoining indoor sports complex would be located east of Interstate 35. The initial price tag could be more than $100 million, utilizing private and public funding.
That entrepreneurs and developers see North Iowa as a home for such a facility – even with a big project down the road in Mason City – is a positive development.
We welcome both projects and firmly believe the plans point to the region's attractive quality of life and potential for increased commerce.
Transparent from the beginning
We appreciate the Mason City Public Library board for outlining its plans for the Genealogy Room and collection currently maintained by the North Central Iowa Genealogical Society.
We appreciate the stance of NCIGS members, and also recognize that the library's concerns are reasonable. We worry, however, more harm was done by waiting until Tuesday's meeting to make those issues public. Whatever the outcome, this didn't need to be this difficult.
Transparency at the earliest opportunity is best.
Officials were asked on multiple occasions in the past month, and they consistently pointed to the meeting date. In this instance, the secrecy made the issue worse than needed.
After the board granted the NCIGS another extension, there's time to fine-tune pitches and proposals.
We're hopeful both sides share them well before the next meeting on Sept. 18.
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.