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Mason City council approves money for Music Man Square and sports bar investors

In Tuesday's meeting, the council approved a grant for Music Man Square and a $30,000 loan to a group of investors who want to start a sports bar in Southbridge Mall.

Posted: Sep 17, 2019 11:04 PM
Updated: Sep 18, 2019 5:13 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - The city council is about to write two big checks. 

The city funded a grant that will go to Music Man Square, so they can begin a fundraising campaign.  That grant totals $50,000, which will be combined with money from the Meredith Wilson Foundation, who has agreed to match the grant.  

Several residents spoke out against the grant, saying the museum has had trouble with its finances over the past few years.  Mayor Bill Schickel believes that Music Man Square is an important part of the River City Renaissance and he doesn't mind helping them out.  The money for the grant comes from the city's hotel motel tax.

The city council also approved a Downtown Revitalization Loan to The Sports Page LLC, a group of investors who are opening a sports bar inside of Southbridge Mall.  The loan totals $30,000 and is forgivable if the owners stay in business for 7 years.  Mayor Shickel says property value increases will fund this loan.

City councilman Joshua Masson voted against the loan, saying that restaurants have a high failure rate and that 7 years is a long time for a restaurant to stay in business.

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