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Council to address aquatic center, Neighborhood Liquor license

Jacob Rice
City of Ames Mayor John Haila speaks during an Ames City Council meeting on Jan. 24.

The Ames City Council is set to address plans regarding the construction of the Fitch Family Indoor Aquatic Center.

The council has three alternatives they can choose to apply to the motion, including:

  • Adding multi-purpose rooms and a walking area, which would add roughly $1.5 million to the cost of the project.
  • Adding heating to the main entry concrete which would add $50,000 to the project’s cost.
  • Adding a tile edge to the lap and recreation pools which would add an additional $65,000.

According to city documents, adding heating to the main entry concrete would mitigate the amount of snow tracked into the building, as well as provide safe entry into the building during icy conditions.

By Wednesday, the city is set to release bid documents, which are due back on Jan. 11. The contracts are scheduled to be awarded on Jan. 23, with the council aiming to approve the contracts and bonds at their Feb. 13 meeting.

The city manager’s recommended action on the motion is to apply the alternatives and proceed with all the proposed additions.

Neighborhood Liquor Mart

Neighborhood Liquor Mart, an Ames liquor and smoke shop in Ames, is set to present a request for a 12-month liquor license to the Ames City Council.

As previously reported by the Daily, Neighborhood Liquor Mart had previously been denied a renewed liquor license in November 2022 due to having failed three compliance checks in three years, with the business having failed a fourth on Sept. 29. Businesses who have been denied a renewed liquor license can appeal to the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division and continue selling alcohol while they await a final decision.

Due to the appeal process, Neighborhood Liquor Mart is able to sell alcohol until they have exhausted all avenues of appeal. The city manager’s recommendation, supplemented by a letter from Ames Police Chief Geoff Huff, is to deny the license.

During the meeting in 2022, Huff advised the council not to renew the store’s license.

Humza Firoz, vice president of Neighborhood Liquor Mart, said the store’s first offense came as the result of an honest mistake. Firoz said they received the offense when the store opened, and none of the employees were equipped with the resources required to discern a real ID from a fake.

Firoz said he believes the second offense was retaliatory, as the former employee who committed the offense was set to be terminated by the end of the day. Firoz said their third offense was the result of a new employee’s genuine mistake, adding that the aforementioned employee was flustered when the worst-case scenario happened.

The council is also set to address a request for cost-sharing of the financial burden of the Downtown Ames Master Plan with Ames Main Street, a rezoning agreement for Auburn Trail and various ordinances at their meeting Tuesday evening. The agenda in its totality can be viewed on the City of Ames’ website.


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  • S

    Shane | Nov 28, 2023 at 10:44 am

    It is so obvious reading this that a community pool designed by committee will fall short of it’s potential. How come these decisions are not that of an Architect, or of a principal designer?