Town meeting on Iola storefronts


Allie Utley, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, February 8, David Toland, along with other 120 community members, attended an open city meeting about the vacancies in the Iola town square. To begin, Toland began comparing Iola to its surrounding communities. Currently, there are 25 empty building in Fort Scott’s town square, 42 in Chanute, and 49 in Pittsburg. Iola is left with 29 vacant storefronts, though it is only five years ago that there were none.

One idea mentioned during the meeting was to put more attention towards the 850 housing units placed within a half mile of the square. This would allow approximately 1,900 people to walk anywhere downtown at any given notice.

Other ideas included building statues on the courthouse lawn honoring Iola’s represented presidents; George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and Andrew Jackson. Also, building amenities such as public restrooms on the square, building unique four-sides clocks, and an electric car station.

Toland also publically announced the incoming of a bicycle shop that will be joining the Iola public square family. The shop, Vevo Plus, will be taking the old Sidelines Sports Bar and Grill on the 200 block of South Washington Street.

There will be another town meeting in April, 2017.