City-owned residential property back on the market in Monona

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The city-owned property at 605 S. Main St., in Monona, is back on the market. At its Jan. 21 meeting, the council approved revised purchase agreement provisions for the sale of the property, and interested buyers are now welcome to stop by city hall to pick up an “offer to buy real estate and acceptance agreement” form.

The property was originally posted for sale late last year, and the city thought it had a buyer, but the offer fell through, prompting the council to reconsider options for the space.

The city originally asked prospective buyers to tear down the existing structure on the property and provide plans for development of the site, which is currently zoned residential, but could potentially be zoned commercial. 

Now, though, the council is open to a buyer rehabbing the structure, as long as a clear plan is outlined and the project is done well.

“They have an option to replace/remodel/restore the structure, to bring it up to code and habitable,” said city administrator Dan Canton.

If the buyer—whether he/she restores the structure or tears it down and builds something new—doesn’t follow through on the plans in an allotted amount of time, ownership of the property can revert back to the city.

Potential buyers must complete the purchase form and submit it to the city by 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28. The council will consider offers at its Monday, March 4 meeting.

Amsden reports 2018 police statistics

In her monthly report to the council, police chief Jo Amsden shared some department statistics from 2018.

“I feel we accomplished some things on my list,” she said, including maintaining coverage and keeping the number of burglaries and thefts low.

Amsden said officers made 500 traffic stops last year. They wrote more warnings, however, issuing a ticket roughly every four stops.

General parking issues doubled in 2018, according to the chief. Criminal charges doubled too, and arrests were up. There was also a slight uptick in OWIs, domestic cases and narcotics cases, the latter being one of the areas Amsden said the department is focusing on.

City getting help with REAP grant app

The council authorized an agreement with Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) staff to write a REAP grant funding application for an extension of the Butterfly Trail from Gateway Park to the corner of South Main and Spruce streets. The RC&D services will cost the city $1,000.

Canton said the grant is due Aug. 15. If received, the $75,000 award would cover a majority of the project, he noted. Construction would take place in 2020.

RC&D helped the city with its last DNR REAP grant application, which netted funding for the extension of the recreational trail from the Butterfly Garden to Gateway Park that was completed in 2018.

New city website is up

Canton informed the council that the city’s new website is now up and running. It can be found at www.cityofmonona.org.

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