The view of the west side of the Herring Hotel building; supporters have a month to make some repairs and provide information to the Belle Plaine city council on the structural integrity of the historic building.

After a lengthy discussion on the historic, but in-need-of-repair Herring Hotel in Belle Plaine, the city council there gave the members of the Herring Hotel Alliance and the Herring Hotel Foundation a month to make some necessary repairs, including a covered walk-way, a secure barricade to keep people from the possibility of bricks falling from the west side of the building, as well as documentation on the structural integrity of the entire building.

“And then they will revisit the nuisance issue again in May,” says KristinePope, who spoke at length about the meeting.

City leaders have also asked to speak with Ryan Prochaska, who is serving as the organizations’ project manager, during May’s council meeting.

“Our organization has been asked to keep the council updated monthly going forward, which we have done and will continue to do,” says Pope. “It was a, long meeting; I spoke for 40 mins. But it was the first time I felt hope for our project from the council. Bob Ausburger, Prarie Rivers board member and Lincoln Highway member, Joyce Ausburger, Iowa LHA Treasurer, & Dean Parr, ILHA State Rep., traveled many miles, and were in attendance as supporters. Also the Wallace Winkie Foundation had 3 board members present, and the Herring Hotel Bldg Alliance board had some members present. Letters of support did reach the desk of the council and the mayor. Together, I feel all of these factors made a big impact on the outcome.”

Now, says Pope, it’s up to the Herring Hotel supporters to make the most of this opportunity.
“We are pleased with the council’s willingness to work with us. We asked for more time and they gave it to us,” she said. “For that we are thankful. Now we have to use this time wisely and productively. We have work to do to get the results we want. Our project demands this from our board members, our supporters, and our community. We have to show the council we can make this happen. So that’s exactly what we plan to do.”
See an earlier story about the history of the hotel, and its current challenges and its status as an “Endangered” historic place, HERE.
See the web page dedicated to the Herring, and preserving it, HERE.