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Bundt: ‘I’ve always been a fan of local’

Sac City mayor says he wants to focus on what’s good for the community

-Messenger file photo by Hans Madsen
Sac City Mayor Scott Bundt poses in the empty lot left by a demolished building that will soon become a miniature park and green space. The work is one of many projects he’s helped out on as a board member of the John Criss Foundation.

SAC CITY — Mayor Scott Bundt is a pretty busy guy with several different hats to wear and lots of irons in the fire out helping the community.

He owns Sac City Hardware and Appliance with his wife, Kelly. He operates Tree Boss tree service. He owns several rental properties, and he serves on the John Criss Foundation board.

“Today’s going to be full,” he said.

The couple purchased the store about three years ago.

“We stress you can offer customer service, we service what we sell, we’re friendly, and we try to go the extra mile,” he said.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Sac City Mayor Scott Bundt proudly stands by one of the city fire hydrants he and other volunteers painted. The bright blue street signs are another project in the community paid for by the John Criss Foundation. Bundt serves on their board.

Prior to the hardware store, Bundt owned a local grocery store.

“I’ve always been a fan of local,” he said.

He tries his best to purchase everything he can locally, as well.

“Even if they don’t have it in town they can usually get it,” he said. “You have to give the local guy a chance. It’s always worth giving the local business a chance.”

As mayor, Bundt has a seat on the board that oversees the $5.7 million endowment from local resident John Criss.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
In his role as co-owner of Sac Hardware and Appliance, Scott Bundt helps Tonile Campanelli, of Wall Lake, select some painting products for some work she was doing on her home.

“It’s money that’s used to benefit the community as a whole,” he said. “It’s for the betterment of the whole community.”

Its latest project is a pocket park downtown in a lot where the building was demolished. It will become an inviting green space for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Almost all the work is being done by local contractors.

“The whole idea is to keep it close,” he said.

The John Criss Foundation has funded other projects in the community. The tennis and basketball courts at South Park were refurbished, new shelters built and a host of other improvements made to the park.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Scott Bundt, at left, along with his wife, Kelly Bundt, right, poses with Sac City resident Orville VonEhwegen, 101, inside their hardware store, Sac Hardware and Appliances. Bundt purchased a mower like the one he’s sitting on and keeps five yards trimmed with it.

“We used our local guys,” he said. “Everything is locally purchased if it’s possible. It’s a win-win. We keep the local guys busy.”

Bundt said the community is not just seeing, but feeling, the positive effects of the Criss projects.

“The town is looking better,” he said. “There’s a positive vibe, the town has made a corner. It’s going to be better and better. It’s a process. We are heading in the right direction.”

Some of that work is readily seen driving through town: landscaping, a Freedom Rock, a new illuminated sign at the hospital, bright new street signs, work in the cemetery, a new dugout at the Sac City Little League Ball Field, a paving project at the airport, updated LED lighting at the library and community recreation center.

Work is happening all over.

“We’ve done about 50 projects,” he said.

Next month will find the next project getting started.

“We’re bringing the Chautauqua building back to life,” he said. “It’s one of the last three in Iowa. It will be as good as new as we can make it and keep the historic character.”

As mayor, Bundt is on his fourth year of a four-year term.

He ran at the urging of friends and with the encouragement of the community.

“You learn a lot,” he said. “You learn how cities are run.”

Would he go for another term?

“Probably,” he said. “If the public wants me to, I’m game. I want to focus on what’s good for the community.”

He’s good at keeping his mayoral role separate from his other lives.

“I keep my personal feelings out of it,” he said. “If you focus on what’s good for the people, you really can’t go wrong.”

Bundt has organized several projects with help from members of the community.

“I do a lot of volunteer work and try to get people involved,” he said. “We repainted all 146 fire hydrants. Now you’ll see they are shiny red. We spent less than $500 for paint, brushes and supplies. A brand new one is $7,000.”

He’s also organized a project to repaint the light poles and signals downtown as well as a painting project at the Sac City Veterans of Foreign Wars.

“There’s plenty of people that help me,” he said.

Bundt has also been a member of the Chamber of Commerce for 30 years and a Lions Club member.

He prefers actually working on a project to meetings that plan it.

“I’m a doer,” he said. “I’ll do every project, but I don’t want to go to five meetings about it.”