The Gazette covers City Hall, now a flood-damaged icon on May's Island in the Cedar River

City Council keeps its distance from May’s Island; may extend lease for 2 years on temp setup in suburban-style office park; big June 13 ceremony on river’s west side

In City Hall on June 2, 2009 at 4:11 pm

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.

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  1. In reference to your subsequent article about Corbett’s endorsement from the union, you mention several union members in attendence. Union members, veterans, business owners and flood victims were in attendence. Pretty impressive for that early in a Mayoral race. It seems to me, that this group has already facilitated its’ “public input process”, and has come it its’ conclusion early.

  2. Why in blazes does this City Council come up with more ways to spend money for needless things?There is a building sitting in the middle of the Cedar River,which needs a little renovation then can house City Hall again.This council doesn’t need to be paying money out for fancy office space or to build a Taj Mahal.Maybe they need to wake up and take a look at what Linn County is doing.Do you think that the union members,veterans,business owners and flood
    victims are coming out in support of soon to be Mayor Ron Corbett
    because they are happy with what this present Mayor and Council are doing.No,it’s because they are fed up with the council doing nothing and spending money we don’t have and know that Ron will change all of this when he gets into office with the other new council members.

  3. This is just an observation but I have not heard any of the persons on the board for the Veteran’s Commission ask the city offices to come back. Perhaps the feeling is mutual that neither wants the offices back in the building.Even so, this building needs to be restored and OPI had better be careful as it is listed as a historical landmark and they will have to follow the guidelines as such for historical buildings. I believe the same holds true for the Paramount.
    As for the current council it needs to end the delays, stop the hemmorage of money going out and get moving. Is it any wonder why Ron C has such huge support this early in the game.

  4. Craig…as usual, totally SPOT ON!! Why don’t you run for MAYOR!!!?

  5. and just think the federal court house downtown is free…………. but hey AEGON needs more money, they don’t seem to get enough extra from all the property tax deductions they receive.

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