Council, applicant, negotiate grant for building improvements

A Marshalltown businesswoman, a representative, from the local Central Business District’s Facade Grant program, and the city council negotiated a facade grant award of $30,972 for exterior improvements on the historic Kibbey building on East Main Street.

Barb Hagstrand, owner of the building, 125-131 E. Main St., which is undergoing a major exterior and interior re-construction, initially sought $39,472.50.

That request was presented to the council on her behalf by Doug Husak, chairman of the CBD’s Facade Grant program.

It is designed to repair building facades.

At another council meeting, Hagstrand had received $13,250 for improvements, but at Monday night’s meeting requested to withdraw that grant and substitute a larger one for $39,472.50.

“The reason it ($13,250 grant) is being withdrawn is because the building owner (Hagstrand) did not realize she could qualify for more funds,” said Husak.

However, there were concerns from Councilman-At-Large Leon Lamer that Hagstrand had already received significant awards from other grants sources.

Hagstrand had received nearly $1.2 million in grant money from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) in January. The money will be used to convert the second floor of the building to apartment lofts. Hagstrand said the total conversion is estimated at $2.5 million. The first floor will be converted to business spaces.

The council and Hagstrand negotiated dropping $8,500 from the request and settled on $30,972

The facade grant investment by the council continues the recent trend of revitalization on Marshalltown’s Main Street. Recent examples are the Tallcorn Hotel and Iowa Wholesale Building being converted to apartments.

Councilman Joel Greer said he personally supported the project, and Hagstrand’s efforts to turn a major negative into a positive.

Mayor Jim Lowrance compared the Kibbey Building to the Tallcorn, where 19 different funding sources made the project a reality.

Prochaska & Associates/Police and fire building

Steve Riley of Prochaska & Associates told the council he and team will be evaluating 15 sites this week to determine the best fit for a building shared by police and fire services.

Another option is to construct a new police and new fire building on a site, where both could share utilities and other features.

Other options under consideration are to construct new police and fire buildings on separate sites.

Specifically, the company will be examining sites ranging from Central Iowa Healthcare’s downtown facility, to

the Old Econo Foods site to the Naughton property currently for sale off of Sixth Street near the Totem Bowl.

CIH is currently utilizing their downtown facilities offering services, such as overnight hospitalization, not offered at its new outpatient clinic across the road from Marshalltown Community College.

Four sites, including the American Legion/Old Pool, selected last year to house the proposed new police building, are no longer available. Others not available are the Staples property, an empty lot near Hampton Inn, and the Old Restaurant site. Aspen Dental is building on the latter.

Riley, and his associate, Curtis Field, told the citizen advisory committee earlier in the day the company is finalizing reports on the structural conditions of the existing police and fire buildings.

The next meeting of the citizen advisory committee is 3 p.m. Jan. 11, in the Marshalltown Police Department Conference Room, located in the basement of department headquarters at 22 N. Center St.

The meeting is open to the public.

MPD patrol to work 12-hour shifts

The council unanimously approved a request by Chief of Police Mike Tupper to implement a six month experimental program whereby MPD patrol officers work 12-hour shifts.

Tupper said the new arrangement was requested by officers.

He said other police departments are working 12-hour shifts, and have found it effective, and will allow patrol officers to spend more time with family.

“Trying the program on a six-month basis will be a big morale booster to patrol officers,” Tupper said.

Additionally, it may serve as an effective recruitment tool should it be adopted on a permanent basis.

The program will begin in late January.

Detectives currently work 10-hour days.

Captains currently work Monday through Friday, normal business hours, said Tupper.

Central Business District report

Jenny Etter, Central Business District director, said 2016 goals include reducing the number of empty storefronts, implementing marketing strategies studied, and use them to help attract more businesses to the central business district.

“Since 2002, more than $27 million dollars has been invested in central business district buildings,” said Etter. “More than 3,000 residents attended CBD promotions events.”

Closed Session

The council adjourned into a closed session pursuant to Section 21.5, of the code of Iowa, to evaluate the professional competency of an individual whose appointment, hiring, performance or discharge is being considered when necessary to prevent needless and irreparable injury to that individual’s reputation and that individual requests a closed session.

Holiday Hours

City Hall offices will be closed Dec. 24, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

The Marshalltown Public Library will be closed Dec. 24, Dec. 25, Dec. 26, Dec. 31, and Jan. 1.

The next city council meeting will be at noon, Dec. 28 in Council Chambers, second floor, 10 W. State St. For more information, contact 641-754-5701 or visit ci.marshalltown.ia.us.