Monona Council receives MCED update

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Monona Chamber and Economic Development (MCED) Executive Director Rogeta Halvorson shared MCED’s latest pursuits with the Monona Council at its Jan. 18 meeting.

The number of visitors to MCED’s website and Facebook page has grown, further promoting the community and chamber members, she noted. Halvorson recently developed an employment page on the website, allowing members to post job openings.

Halvorson also noted the success of the city’s first Holiday Shop Hop, which was put on by MCED. Over $1,000 in gift items and gift certificates was donated by chamber members to fill three prize baskets. She said she anticipates the event to grow this year, with the addition of more shoppers and more chamber members.

In other MCED business, Halvorson shared a letter from Hunter Goltz, of Monona, who said he’d like the city to consider creating an ice skating rink, allowing families to spend time with one another and get some exercise, while still remaining close to home. Although he knows it’s too late in the season to try developing one now, he said he’d like the council to consider it for next winter.

City administrator Dan Canton said the city had a skating rink around five or six years ago, but the weather has not been conducive to having one since then.

The council said Hunter and his mom, Jessica, should approach them before next winter to get the ball rolling.

“If it does get cold, it would be nice to have it through the holidays,” Halvorson said, noting that the fire department has said it will help create the rink, while Jessica Goltz will help with organization. 

“The chamber is ready to help promote it if you want to do it,” she added.

At the meeting, Halvorson also showed the council new and replacement options for the “Monona” billboard signs east and west of town. Halvorson showed a new design incorporating the city logo and suggested adding a third sign on the west side of town. 

The city could also choose to add reflective vinyl on the two existing signs. This should have been done the last time the signs were updated, she said, making them visible in the dark. The council went with this option, at a cost of $720.

Commercial park lot sale

The sale of a portion of Monona Commercial Park Lot 2 to Mark Fohey for a new Family Dentistry Associates of Monona office was approved following a public hearing. 

The lot is located between Fisk’s Farm and Home and the Monona Family Aquatic Center. Parcel A of the lot is being purchased for $20,000, with Fohey receiving 10-year tax abatement. He also has the right of first refusal for parcel B, the remainder of the lot, meaning if someone else is interested in the property, he will have the first opportunity to purchase it, at a cost of $10,000.

Award

The city of Monona recently learned it is the recipient of the 1000 Friends of Iowa 2015 first place storm water management award for the Monona Family Aquatic Center permeable paver parking lot. 

1000 Friends of Iowa, founded in 1998, is a statewide nonprofit organization focused on land use education. Its mission is to unite Iowans in efforts to protect farmland and natural areas, revitalize neighborhoods, towns and cities, and improve quality of life for future generations. 

The award was one of the group’s Best Development Awards, which showcase projects that recognize connections between building and project development and quality of life.

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