(Arnolds Park)– Meeting in a special session this (Monday) morning lasting less than 10 minutes, the Arnolds Park city council adopted a statement supporting efforts of Imagine Iowa Great Lakes, the organization involved in a multi-million beautification of the lakes corridor.

Imagine Iowa Great Lakes announced Friday it was withdrawing it’s $1.1 million offer to the purchase of the Okoboji Middle School property in Arnolds Park after a petition was circulated regarding the process of the sale. Mayor Jim Hussong tells KUOO news he and the city council felt a need to make their stance known after that development took place…

“We have to live with it in years to come for Arnolds Park. I felt that Imagine Okoboji, or the beautification, are, have the right direction of what our needs are and truly are concerned with, you know, the beautification of Arnolds Park and, you know, what’s best for the residents.”

Hussong says the city has been very pleased with the interaction they’ve been having so far with the beautification group…

“I can’t think of a better situation in that somebody wants to put that kind of money into our community and just to make it beautified. I would say it’s like looking at a gift horse in the mouth if you feel that’s not a good idea and that is truly a blessing, I feel, for the community because the tax base can’t afford to do some of the ideas that they want to do for the future so it’s nice this donor group is stepping forward and helping us with this and get the direction of Arnolds Park to be one of the most beautiful cities in Iowa.”

As part of their action this (Monday) morning, the council agreed to take out an ad and letter to the editor expressing their support, which city officials say will not be paid for by taxpayer money. Council members and the Mayor indicated they would personally contribute toward the cost.

The city’s official statement is available by clicking here.