Council Discusses Hotel Proposal

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By Pam Reinig

Register Editor


The Elkader City Council last Monday discussed a proposal from an Algerian resident that could mean a new hotel for the town.

Abdelmalek (Malek) Sahraoui, who has visited Elkader several times, has suggested that he would cover the cost of a hotel if the city provides property. But sites suggested by Elkader Mayor Josh Pope, including a lot next to Johnson’s Restaurant, property in Breezy Summit, and land at the intersection of Gunder Road and High Street NE, were rejected by Sahraoui. The one spot that held promise for him was met by skepticism by council members. The site Sahraoui liked was swimming pool area of City Park. He has proposed building a hotel there that would include a new public swimming pool. He has also offered to pay for renovation of the shelter house.

While Council members supported the idea of a hotel, they had several concerns about placing one in the park. They questioned the impact of increased traffic on South High Street, the affect of a hotel on campers, the availability of adequate parking, and the logistics of building a public pool inside a privately owned facility. Several also wondered whether Sahraoui understood the challenges of building in a flood plain. Any new structure in the area would need to be elevated at least 12 inches.

“I showed Malek pictures of the last great flood and told him about the challenges of building in flood plain,” said Mayor Pope. “He said he understood and that the cost of elevating the building wasn’t an issue.”

After more than 30 minutes of discussion, the Council asked City Administrator Jennifer Cowsert to draw up a list of questions for Mayor Pope to take to Sahraoui.

“Of importance seems to be the size of the project, how much land would be needed and what happens in the future,” said Cowsert.

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