MASON CITY, Iowa - It is a glimpse into the future of the River City. On Wednesday night, the Mason City Council set their priorities for the years ahead.
One of those is making sure the River City Renaissance gets finished.
"The hotel and conference center have been delayed due to just trying to get the everything wrapped up with the developer and obviously financing and COVID," said City Administrator Aaron Burnett.
The council agrees, finishing the project quickly is a priority.
"I'm getting a lot of comments from people about when is that hotel going to start building and we haven't even started building it yet," said Councilman John Jaszewski.
Dealing with blighted properties remains a goal. Councilman Paul Adams says the city has done a lot over the past year to deal with run-down homes and buildings.
"I don't think a lot of people know how many properties we actually either rehabilitated or the city has actually taken ownership and actually demolished," said Adams.
Councilman Jaszewski hopes to use lots where blighted homes once stood to address the city's housing shortage.
"If we want to see growth, we have to have places for people to live and we need to find some way to make that happen."
Another goal seat by the council is to improve opportunities for outdoor recreation, by improving bike trails and making the Winnebago River friendly to kayakers.
The council also is going to focus on implementing the Willow Creek Master Plan, branding Mason City to attract new residents and businesses, and making improvements to the median along Highway 122.