A city split

BRITT, Iowa – John Buren has lived in Britt all of his life, and he knows what kinds of memories the bank building in downtown Britt holds.

“That’s where I first opened a bank account. There are memories there no doubt, but if they went after that building 10 to 12 years ago..,” said Buren.

Buren believes the building has served its purpose, and it’s time for it to go.  Earlier this month, Buren, along with about 100 others, went to their city council members, and made it clear that enough is enough.That no more money should be spent to fix it up. Even with the petition presented, the city council voted 4-1 to spend $15,000  to repair the roof.

“I thought 120 people would at least, open their eyes.  They turned right around and looked at them said there’s about 120 or so against, and yet they gave the $15,000.”

Even the mayor was surprised the vote went through.  Mayor Marv Hillenga says years ago this building could have been turned into something great, but not anymore.

If this would have been done 20 years ago, before it all got destroyed, I’d a thought it was a great idea.”

Mayor Hillenga says if someone else wants to buy it, he would support that sale.

“Fine, if someone wants to invest in it, we’ll sure take it.”

The mayor says taxpayer money is not being used for the repairs. The total cost to refurbish the bank is about 2 million dollars, he estimates.

Those on board with the project say they’d like to see the building become a hotel.

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