Iowa Great Places officials to visit Mason City Friday

MASON CITY — Mason City city officials on Friday will be hosting state officials and board members from the Iowa Great Places program as the city is a finalist for re-certification in the program.

Iowa Great Places recognizes Iowa communities that build upon their authentic assets as a place-making strategy. Mason City was originally named an Iowa Great Place in 2007 during the second year of the program which was an initiative of then-Governor Tom Vilsack, with the city’s application focusing on the components of its Vision Iowa application in rehabilitating the Historic Park Inn, renovating the Mason City Public Library, construction of the Architectural Interpretive Center, and improvements to the downtown streetscape.

Mayor Bill Schickel says the city’s re-certification application focuses on the redevelopment of Willow Creek utilizing the Willow Creek Master Plan. “We’ll be showing them the riverfront. We’ll be hosting them, showing them the community. Great Places, because it provides additional resources for Mason City, better than $500,000 was provide for those projects, we hope to be able to replicate the same thing by showing our state partners that the Mason City riverfront, the riverwalk that we plan in this area, can really be a showcase for the state.”

The Iowa Great Places delegation will also tour the River City Renaissance project sites during their visit late Friday morning.