MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City this week voted against moving forward with the Central Heights street paving project. A number of residents have commented about higher than anticipated estimated assessment statements that they received in the mail. Those assessments could have been lower depending on the final cost of the project.
Mayor Bill Schickel says he’s disappointed that the project is not moving forward. “The city I thought negotiated a pretty good deal for that neighborhood, but the city council declined to move forward, the resolution didn’t pass. I get that. The good thing is that this is the way the process works. Everybody had their say, and the city council makes the ultimate decision, so that project has come to an end.”
Enough of the over 130 property owners had sticker shock over the cost of the project which ultimately led to its demise. “To be very frank about it, perhaps the city has to do a better job of communicating with neighbors in a situation like that. It’s a complicated assessment program. I was very happy that we held a neighborhood meeting where I thought things were going better, citizens were getting their questions answered. The city cut by almost in half the assessments, but in the end there was enough objection that the city council declined to move forward, so we’re going to move on,” Schickel says.
The measure to move ahead with the project failed on a 3-3 tie vote. Councilmen John Jaszewski, Will Symonds and Tom Thoma voted to approve, while voting against were Josh Masson, Paul Adams and John Lee.
Schickel made his comments on the “Ask the Mayor” program on AM-1300 KGLO earlier today. Listen back to the program by heading to the audio player below