The Decorah City Council spent a long time Monday night reviewing the terms of a proposed lease with Luther College for the property for a recreational facilities complex on Pole Line Road.
The proposed lease with Luther has an initial term of 25 years. After that both parties must agree to renew the lease. City council member Paul Wanless says if Luther College decides at that time not to renew the lease, the city would be out all the money it spent on building the recreational facilities. While pointing out that he thought such a decision by the college would be unlikely, Wanless stated "We need to see that the city's interest are safeguarded."
Others agreed with him. Council member Randy Schissel said he would like to see some kind of recapture of the city's investment if Luther doesn't renew the lease. City Attorney Rick Zahasky said the proposed lease represented all the terms sought by Luther College, with no input from the city.
But when the proposed lease was put to a vote, it was approved by a 6-1 margin, with Wanless the lone "no" vote. The city is applying for an Iowa Great Places grant on June 14th, and several city council members didn't want to see the city's grant chances harmed by not having the lease agreement approved.