Mason City’s ‘State of the City’ report

(ABC 6 News) – While 2021 was an eventful year full of ups and downs.

Mason City’s mayor, Bill Schickel says overall it was a success for the city and he wants to continue to build on the city’s momentum and success.

For starters, Schickel said he wants to get the police force back up to full capacity.

"The first responsibility of government is the safety of our citizens that is why Mason City is one of the first cities in Iowa to substantially increase pay and benefits for police officers leading the way in the midwest with police officer recruitment," Schickel said.

He also talked about jobs, saying recruitment and hiring are a must to continue to grow a thriving economy.

"Stated plainly, they currently have more jobs than people, plans are underway for more than 100 new apartment buildings downtown. This is being done to attract workers, it’s required because of the very low homeowner renter vacancy rate," Schickel said.

When it comes to the downtown area, Schickel wants to continue the revitalization project with more places like the new convention center, while paying tribute to the area’s rich history.

"It’s a destination hotel, a destination hotel off the interstate in a downtown redevelopment area it connects the music man square the first every mason city skywalk, in addition to a mall that is being transformed into a new arena and performing arts pavilion," Schickel said.

Plans for a new airport terminal and high-speed fiber internet options at no cost to taxpayers are also in the works.