Sheldon, Iowa — At their Wednesday meeting, the Sheldon City Council heard a report on updates for the design of the proposed event center. City Manager Scott Wynja told the council that the overall size of the building would remain the same, but they modified the kitchen area, shrunk the size of the foyer, and added more storage. The kitchen would be designed mainly for heating and serving by caterers. The dining space would hold up to 420 people in a setting that is usual for weddings, but retractable walls could divide that area into three separate rooms. Wynja also presented a possible timeline for the project with March 16th as the date for a public hearing. According to this tentative plan awarding of construction contracts could be done on April 20th; with construction to begin in June; completion in November, 2017; and a Grand Opening in January of 2018.
Wynja brought the council up to date on possible funding sources for the event center project. The City already has $963,000 in fund raising and pledges. They have applied for a State “CAT” (Community Attraction and Tourism) grant of nine hundred thousand dollars. Another estimated two hundred thousand could be generated by other sources including local option sales tax and the hotel-motel tax. Other city financing would total $3,115,000. The council took no action. It is expected that planning consultant Mike Bell will be at the March 2nd council meeting.
In other business the council put off action on their support for the Northwest Iowa Regional Trust Fund until they can review how much value this has been for the City in the past. They also delayed action on the cable TV franchise renewal with HTC communications. The twenty-year franchise with the cable company expired at the end of January and the City is hesitant to renew it until they are brought up to date on changes in state and federal regulations. Under the original franchise the city received a franchise tax equal to five percent of the total cost of cable TV in the community.