The City Council isn’t rushing to go near May’s Island, home to the flood-damaged Veterans Memorial Building, which houses City Hall.
On its agenda this week, the council says it will discuss at its next meeting, on June 10, a proposal to extend its lease at City Hall’s temporary location, 3851 River Ridge Dr. NE, for another two years. The city’s lease for the spot in an office-park building owned by AEGON USA is $23,410 a month. The Federal Emergency Management Agency pays the money. The AEGON USA sign is still out front.
The return of city government to May’s Island in the future is among the questions about the city’s flood-damaged buildings that the public will be asked to weigh in on during a series of open houses, the first of which is June 23.
On another front, City Hall revealed this week that it will hold a Flood 2008 Commemoration Ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 13.
The ceremony, though, will not be on the giant lawn on May’s Island in the middle of the river, but instead, will be held at Sunner Park and Lot 20 on the west side of the river near the police station .
Cassie Willis, the city’s communications liaison, on Tuesday said the parking ramp underneath the May’s Island lawn was flood-damaged, and it’s unclear if it’s safe to congregate on the lawn above it.
Willis noted that she has invited Iowa Sens. Tom Harkin and Chuck Grassley to the event, neither of which can come, she reported. Congressman Dave Loebsack, D-Mount Vernon, will be on hand and will speak, though Gov. Chet Culver’s office has said, to date, that the governor will not attend, said Willis.
Spielman’s Event Services and Rausch Productions Inc. will help put on the event for the city.
About 100 are expected to attend in addition to 45 participants and 35 event volunteers.