The Knoxville City Council approved a proposal regarding consulting services with 571 Polson Developments LLC during their regularly scheduled meeting on September 16.

The contract enters the city into a $5,000 retainer with consultant Glenn Lyons of 571 Polson Developments. The city’s current retainer with Lyons, which has lasted about seven months, is almost up.

Through this contract, Lyons will provide assistance and advice to the city in regards to negotiations with the VA project. City and county officials have been meeting with representatives from the Iowa State Historic Preservation Office, SHPO, to discuss the future of the VA Campus. City Manager Aaron Adams believes this is the last hurdle in the negotiations.

“I think we’re starting to wind it down,” Adams says of the negotiations. He hopes to see the negotiations finalized and brought to a resolution by the end of the calendar year.

The final piece of negotiations with SHPO will determine the number of buildings that remain standing on the campus. SHPO originally requested all buildings built between 1920 and the 1950s to be preserved, which would have amounted to over 20 buildings. According to Adams, the number has dropped significantly, and city officials are hoping the final number will result in fewer than five buildings.

Adams says the contract with 571 Polson Developments and Glenn Lyons is the best option to help reach the next step in negotiations.

In other news:

  • The council approved the rezoning of 406 N Kent St. The building is a former antique shop, but the owners are planning to renovate it into apartments. The approved rezoning from commercial to residential will allow the owners to remodel the interior of the building into three apartment units.
  • The Knoxville Community Survey is now available online, with paper copies being sent out through the mail, as well. City officials encourage everyone to participate in the survey, saying they value the feedback that is received through responses.
  • Ice Cream with a Cop, which was held on September 8th, was a success. Kone Korner came to the event with 200 pre-made dishes of ice cream, which were gone within the first 30 minutes. A community member purchased more ice cream for the remainder of the event, which served an additional 100 people, said Police Chief Dan Losada.

Emma Skahill can be reached at or by calling the newsroom at 641-842-2155.

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