MAQUOKETA, Iowa — The city of Maquoketa will not buy the historic Decker Hotel and Restaurant.
During a short special meeting Wednesday, council members voted not to continue negotiations with Dupaco Community Credit Union of Dubuque for the hotel and restaurant, located on Main Street.
Last month, city officials were told the hotel and restaurant would be repossessed by the credit union from owner Matt Millin.
Mayor Don Schwenker said the city needed to step in to buy the facility, then sell it to a private developer. He cited the hotel’s designation as being on the National Register of Historic Places and an anchor for the downtown.
City Manager Brian Wagner said Dupaco asked $225,000 for the facility. The city offered $175,000, and Dupaco officials counted with $205,000.
Schwenker told the council that the city’s insurance company said if the city buys the business, it could be liable for renovations to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Wagner had said the hotel’s elevator needed repair at an estimated cost of $40,000.
“The costs could be astronomically expensive,” Schwenker said.
Wagner said several potential buyers contacted the city after the initial news about the hotel’s situation.
Wagner said the city is working with some private developers on the purchase of the Decker. He declined to name them or provide details. But he said one developer has some history of restoring hotels and restaurants in cities the size of Maquoketa.
Wagner said the city has a revolving loan fund of $192,000, which they will use to help someone buy the hotel and restaurant.
“That might be an incentive for someone in the private sector,” Wagner said.
Council member Jerry Bowen said “it makes more sense for someone else to own the hotel than the city.”
“We are no longer considering the purchase of the Decker, but we will help a new buyer. The Decker is a nice treasure to the city,” he said.