MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — Tenants and shoppers inside the Marshalltown Mall got a surprise on Friday. The power was disconnected due to the owner of the mall not paying the power bill to Alliant Energy.
“Alliant Energy came out and turned off the main power,” said Jake Reynolds, owner of the Iron Barbell located in the mall. “So there’s no heat, there’s no lights in the main area, then after that, the Fire Marshal came out and shut down the businesses that were inside the mall that don’t have an exterior entrance.”
The Fire Marshall’s concern was with no power, there was no way to run the fire alarm to the sprinklers. On Monday a deal was worked out with TLC Associates to pay the electric bill to run just the fire sensors, so it would not be a fire hazard to be in the building.
The concern for the businesses in the mall got the attention of the Marshalltown Chamber of Commerce.
“We have a number of chamber member businesses that are being affected by this, but at the end of the day, we know that this asset in the businesses have a considerable commercial impact here in Marshalltown, and in Marshall County,” said John Hall, president and CEO of the Marshalltown Chamber of Commerce. “We don’t want to lose that so we’re not going to take this lying down, we’re going do everything we can to engage on this, to find a workable solution for businesses support especially through the holidays.”
The mall is owned by the Kohan Retail Investment Group, located in Great Neck, NY. The attempt to reach that company for comment, was unsuccessful.
“This is not the fault of anybody local, the blame on this lies squarely with out-of-town mall ownership who refused to pay the electric bill,” said Hall. “They’ve known this has been owed to Alliant Energy for months, and months, and months, and they’ve chosen not to pay it and because of that, our businesses are facing closures.”
Hall said he and the Chamber want to do everything they can to help those businesses in the mall to stay in business, especially heading into the holiday shopping season.
Now some businesses are considering if they can still be in business inside the Marshalltown Mall.
“A hundred percent I think everybody’s questioning whether they can stay here or not,” said Reynolds. “If I want to be here another year it’s going to happen again, why would you stay here?”
Reynolds’ concern is that if he doesn’t have a gym for a few weeks, he would lose customers waiting for him to re-open somewhere else.