Bookmeyer wants voters to decide on hotel, not sure how proposal would impact Gatehouse timeline
MASON CITY — Mason City’s mayor says he wants the voters to make a decision on which hotel project is best for the downtown area. In a written statement, Mayor Eric Bookmeyer says he will ask the council to pass a resolution at their meeting next Tuesday to include bonding language necessary for Gatehouse Capital’s project to be completed in the August 1st referendum election dealing with the vote on the multi-purpose center’s lease as part of the River City Renaissance project. Bookmeyer says his primary takeaway from the feedback he’s received is how passionate Mason City residents are about the downtown revitalization project and how necessary they believe it is to Mason City’s future. Bookmeyer says when purely evaluating city finances and evaluating risk that principle should lead the council to favor the plan proposed by G8 Development for a hotel in the City Hall parking lot. Bookmeyer says Mason City’s bonding counsel has advised him that three or four questions would have to be voted on for the council to move forward with Gatehouse’s project, including the authorization to sell bonds for the 20-year loan to Gatehouse for zero-percent, the new museum, the renovation of Music Man Square and the skywalk between the hotel and Music Man Square. He says if citizens want the G8 plan, they simply can vote yes on the multi-purpose center lease and no on the Gatehouse questions. If they favor Gatehouse, they can vote on all the items. Gatehouse has expressed that they’d like to break ground on their project this fall. It’s not known what impact such a vote would have on the timing or status of their project.