- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - The Waterloo City Council has agreed to purchase a closed Hostess bakery in hopes of ensuring the site’s future development fits in with other plans for the downtown area.

The council voted 6-1 Monday to buy the building for $400,000 and up to $15,000 in closing costs, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (https://bit.ly/1DG6P01 ) reported.

Noel Anderson, the city’s planning and development director, said the building is in a key location among downtown revitalization projects.

The bakery stopped production in November 2012 when Hostess Brands filed for bankruptcy. Georgia-based company Flower Foods purchased the property through a liquidation for almost $442,500, according to Black Hawk County real estate records.

The city will use general obligation bonds repaid with property taxes to buy the building. Councilman Tom Lind voted against the purchase.

“I just think it’s time to slow down the spending on (this kind of) economic development,” Lind said. “I don’t support acquisition unless we have an immediate economic development opportunity.”

But Councilman Ron Welper said he feared the building could hurt the area if it fell into the wrong hands.

“Somebody could purchase it and it could sit empty for another 20 years,” Welper said.

Several residents and downtown business owners attended the council meeting over concerns about the building potentially being demolished, but Mayor Buck Clark said there’s no plans to tear the structure down.

“At this time we do not have an intended use,” Clark said. But he added: “We feel it’s important that we control that site.”

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Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, https://www.wcfcourier.com


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