College to ask for property to be rezoned

Iola City Council members will continue talks Monday regarding a developers request for assistance as he seeks Community Development Block Grant funds to convert an old nursing home into an apartment complex.

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Local News

June 7, 2024 - 3:15 PM

Iola Administrator Matt Rehder and Iola Mayor strongly contest State Sen. Caryn Tyson's accusation that Iola has the highest commercial property taxes in the nation. Register file photo

Iola city council members will address a rezoning request on behalf of Allen Community College and continue a conversation with Shane Lamb regarding his requests for help in the rehabilitation of a former nursing home, at Monday night’s city council meeting.

ACC seeks to rezone recently purchased property just north of the college from R-1 (Single Family Residential) to C-2 (General Business). The current zoning will not allow for the land to be used by the college for educational purposes. College trustees have eyed the property for a new Career and Technical Education building.

Council members will also continue considerations from their May 28 meeting of various requests from Shane Lamb, acting as Invest America Group (IAG). Lamb’s most recent request pertains to the rehabilitation of the main building at what was once Arkhaven Nursing Home at 1336 N. Walnut St. 

Council members had requested that Lamb present them with a more detailed plan regarding a $300,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) he is pursuing. 

Lamb is turning the former nursing home into apartments. His requests include applying for a CDBG grant on behalf of IAG; acting as administrator of the grant via a contract between the city and a third-party administrator; waiving nearly $91,000 in material and labor costs to provide electrical infrastructure on the city-side; and payment for infrastructure on the private side of a transformer. 

At the May 28 meeting, Council member Jon Wells said the city has granted similar favors to other private entitites.

IN OTHER NEWS, council will present a proclamation declaring June 10 as Iola High School Forensics Day in recognition of their stellar success. IHS juniors Cole Moyer, Everett Glaze, Max Andersen and Demarco Ross secured gold medals at the state competition in their 3A division this spring.

As a team, Iola took fourth place overall, an accomplishment IHS instructor and Forensics coach Regina Christenson says is the highest in her 13 years and believes may be the best in school history.

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