Casey Comeback: New City Hall After 2014 Fire

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CASEY, Iowa  --  Ground was broken for a new over $1 million City Hall & Community Center in Casey on Monday.

The former building was destroyed by a fire on August 20, 2014. The former city clerk, Dorothy Dillinger, was sentenced to five years in prison for misappropriating almost $300,000. She also pled guilty to charges on setting the fire just hours before state auditors arrived.

“We lost a lot more than just a community building in August 2014,” Casey Mayor Barry Chalfant told the people assembled for a ground breaking event. “We lost a place for people to come together for special family functions, theater productions, and many community events. With the new building, we can always do these things and much more, in a spacious, user-friendly building."

The cold rain and wind forced most of the program to be held in the nearby Casey Library. That is the same location the City Council has been meeting in since the fire. The City Clerk’s office was located in a nearby bank building.

“We’ve been without a community building for four years. It’s been a long process to get where we are to build a new one,” said City Councilman Brett Wedemeyer. “The whole community just missed our old building a lot, almost every month there was a community dinner activity.”

The new building was designed with the community center in mind.

“A very small portion of the building is actually for the City Hall,” said Josh Ridgely of SVP Architects. “Most the building is actually for the community center, so half of the building is one large community room that they can have various community events.”

The city has also hired a graphic designer to build a logo for the community and help it build its own brand. Next year, Casey will celebrate its Sesquicentennial.