homepage logo


City to hold hearing on loan agreement

By Staff | Dec 13, 2013

Above is the former Sievert’s/Penney’s building which the Estherville Industrial Development Corporation bought this fall. The Estherville City Council will hold a public hearing on the renovation project. File photo

The Estherville City Council at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16 will hold a public hearing on a proposed loan agreement to restore the former Sievert’s/Penney’s building.

Estherville city administrator Penny Clayton said Excel Estherville will repay the $400,000 loan which will be given in the form of a grant to the Estherville Industrial Development Corporation for building improvements. Clayton said in the event the building should be sold – which is not currently anticipated – any sale proceeds would go toward repaying the grant.

The Emmet County Board of Supervisors approved allocating $25,000 from county Local Option Sales and Service funds for the building restoration.

The Estherville City Council has also committed $50,000 from its revolving loan fund plus issuing the $400,000 in bonds.

In making the funding request to the supervisors earlier this fall, EIDC President Lyle Hevern recalled a meeting the development group had earlier with Iowa Lakes Corridor about developing second floor space in downtown Estherville.

“It has an amazing second floor,” Hevern said of the building that was also formerly the location of Penney’s and which has an upstairs ballroom.

Hevern noted how previous historic structures such as the former Elks, Grand Theatre and Depot had been torn down – all of which could have provided public space in Estherville. He also said estimates are up to $250,000 to tear down the building.

“This is a property we’d like to rescue,” Hevern said.

Noting the project would take a couple years, EIDC Chair Al Blum said the restoration committee was also looking for members.