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2022 Minutes
and Meeting Packets

2022 Minutes
and Meeting Packets

2022 Minutes
and Meeting Packets

2022 Minutes
and Meeting Packets


Cambridge Opera House Nearing Completion


The Cambridge Opera House or Legion

Building is close to complete.

The completed renovation will provide four

apartments and two commercial spaces in the

downtown area. The purpose is to attract

business and new residents to Cambridge.

Cambridge received a $180,000 housing grant

to continue renovation of the historic

Legion/Opera House building at 222 Water

Street in June 2022.

The $180,000 Downtown Housing Grant

accompanies an earlier $100,000 Community

Catalyst BuildingRemediation grant. Both

were awarded through the

Iowa Economic Development Authority. 

Project Background

Built in 1914 and located at 222 Water St., the building was deeded over (donated) to the City of Cambridge by Mathis Wire American Legion Post #223 in 2018. The organization no longer needed the space due to declining membership, plus, the city’s library previously housed inside the building had recently moved to the new Cambridge City Center across the street. The donation of the building was made with the Legion’s request to renovate the building to benefit the community.


The Cambridge City Council began working on plans to renovate the building in 2919. The city hired FEH Design, an architecture, structural engineering and interior design firm out of Des Moines, to handle the design process. The firm will continue to work with the city until the project’s completion.

Work Started in Spring 2021

In spring 2021, the city council awarded a contract to King Knutson Construction Company to handle the renovation work. They began working on the building in the summer of 2021.

Progress was delayed during the process of digging out the basement to pour a new foundation on the back of the building. Workers ran into debris buried after a fire that occurred decades ago. They also encountered excessive groundwater, which required additional drainage installation.  


Plans for Completion Spring 2023

The design of the front, or west side, of the building will mirror its original look to compliment other buildings along Cambridge’s main street. The mural on the north side of the building will remain untouched.


The interior will feature salvaged wood doors, jambs and frames to not only maintain the building’s historic appearance. Work was also done to renovate the original wood floors and tin ceilings.

Spaces within the building will include:

  •  Two 700 square foot commercial spaces will face Water Street on the west side of the building on the main level

  • One ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990)-compliant studio apartment (602 square feet) will be located on the east side of the main level

  • Three apartments will be located on the second level and will include a two-bedroom apartment (868 square feet), a second two-bedroom apartment (844 square feet) and a one-bedroom apartment (820 square feet)

All apartments will have kitchen, living areas, laundry rooms, pantry, and storage access in the basement. Building tenants will be able to park on the east side of the building off the alley.

Project Funding

  • The city is funding the Opera House/Legion Building $1.3 million renovation through several grants and loans:

  •  Downtown Housing Grant - $180,000

  • USDA Rural Economic Loan - $283,000 (0% interest)

  •  Grant from Story County Board of Supervisors - $45,000

  • Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Community Catalyst Building Remediation Grant - $100,000


The project has had several overages and setbacks including additional drainage tile needed in the basement and replacement of rotten studs and joists in the back wall.

The city does plan to sell the building to an investor after completion.


P.O. Box 216

225 Water St.

Cambridge, IA 50046

​Tel: 515-220-4541​

Cambridge City Council meetings are the second Monday of the month at 6 p.m. at the Cambridge City Center

City Hall Hours:

Monday:       8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday:       8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday  8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Thursday:     7 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Friday :          8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Saturday:      Closed

Sunday:         Closed

Cambridge City Fire Restrictions 


Cambridge City Code allows recreational fires in the city, but the city code and Iowa Department of Natural Resource rules do not allow burning of hazardous materials such as plastics, electric wire, tires, etc.

  • Garbage pick up is included in residents utility and water bill, so there should be no need to burn garbage or residential waste.

  • Burning leaves and brush is permitted, but try to burn when leaves are dry to eliminate smoky fires. Cambridge is located in a river valley so smoke filled with dangerous particulates can hang over the city for several hours and is a health hazard. 

After several options were reviewed, the city council decided to pursue the lowest cost solution. That solution involves installing ultraviolet lights to reduce the amount ammonia being discharged.


C.L. Carroll Company out of Des Moines started construction on the $650,000 project in early March with completion planned for December. Engineering fees were around $200,000 bringing the total cost of the project to $850,000.


In order to cover the updates to the city will be raising water and sewer rates. On average residents will see rates increase from $10 to $20 depending on their water and sewer usage. Sewer rates are currently $13 and will be raised to $22. Water currently costs $4 per one thousand gallons and that will increase to $5 per one thousand gallons.


Even with these increases the city of Cambridge still offers some of the lowest rates for water and sewer in Story County.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources Requiring Cambridge Lagoon Update

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is requiring the city of Cambridge to reduce ammonia discharges from its city lagoons. To meet the requirements the city is updating the lagoons located on the southeast end of town.

In 2014 the IDNR contacted the city stating that ammonia levels being discharged from the city’s lagoons into the South Skunk River were too high. The city hired Fox Engineering to investigate possible solutions. The engineering firm proposed three options ranging in cost from $630,000 to $1.2 million.

Sign Up For Emergency Alert System

Story County residents are now able sign up for the Story County Iowa Alerts emergency notification system. There are three ways to sign-up for the free service

1. Go online at or

2. download Smart911 App to your cell phone

3. or opt-in via text messages by texting CambridgeIA to 627-83

City Code Updates - Fireworks, Driveway Definitions,

Limits on Parking in Yards, Building Permit Work Completed in One Year and Junk Accumulation 

Cambridge City Council Members 2021-2023


Michael J. Macki

My name is Michael Macki and I am seeking reelection as a city council representative for the city of Cambridge. I am the professional school counselor at Ballard East Elementary School and have lived in Cambridge for more than 20 years. I am a veteran and very proud of my military service. I am a huge proponent of service leadership and work very hard to make sure my work in the schools and community reflect that characteristic. I love serving our little town and would appreciate the opportunity to continue doing so.

Michael J. Macki

Barb McBreen

My main reason to run for city council is to serve my community. When I was elected four years ago my goal was to improve communications for the city of Cambridge. During those four years I updated the website and shared stories on the website about city projects.

My Goals:

-  Increase communications between the city and its residents and work towards transparency.

-  Host town hall meetings to give residents a chance to get to know council members.

-  Implement more strategic planning, so the city is prepared for grant funding opportunities.

Barb McBreen

Taylor Bassett

My name is Taylor Bassett and I have been a resident of Cambridge for 9 months now and have come to call this awesome town “home”. I am the Ice Arena manager in Ames and have worked for city government for just under 7 years. I desire to get involved in the community I love and would like to represent the citizens of Cambridge. If elected, I would like to promote greater transparency between city council and Cambridge citizens, find innovative ways to make our community more appealing (community clean up, review ordinances, etc), and to ensure that past city council decisions continue to be appropriate for Cambridge residents. Safety is also a primary goal, and I would work closely with the residents and law enforcement to develop appropriate programs to ensure a safe community for all. I offer a fresh perspective and would appreciate your vote.

Taylor Bassett

Riley T. Harper

I am seeking election as a city council representative to serve my community that I love. My family and I moved from out of state a few years ago so I could pursue a Ph.D. in counseling psychology at Iowa State University. We chose a home in Cambridge rather than Ames because of the feeling of warmth and connection that we found here. Cambridge has welcomed and embraced us and we have begun to set down roots here in starting a family. I love this town and would love to repay the kindness it has shown me through listening to and serving you, it’s residents, on the city council. 

Riley T. Harper

Susan Roberts - City Clerk 

Give a warm welcome to Susan Roberts, Cambridge's new city clerk.

Susan shared the following about herself:

"I would like to take an opportunity to introduce myself as the new city clerk for the City of Cambridge. I am a native of the Cambridge/Huxley community and a graduate of the Ballard Community School District. I currently reside with my significant other, Steve Pelz, on an acreage east of Cambridge. I enjoy spending time with my family, which consists of four children, five grandchildren and a very large extended family. I also love gardening, reading, cooking and canning.

I will be training alongside the current city clerk, Deb Thompson, for several weeks. I hope to absorb all the knowledge she has provided during the last 37 years.  
Please stop in to City Hall and introduce yourself. I look forward to meeting my fellow residents."

- Susan Roberts, (new) Cambridge City Clerk

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