BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The second and third phases of the Fort Madison recreational trail will be in front of the city council on Tuesday evening.
At their regular meeting Tuesday night at 5:30, the council will vote on a resolution awarding construction of Phase II to Jones Contracting of West Point, Iowa in the amount of $147,777. The next phase will be a cement path built connecting the first path near Ivanhoe Park with 48th street along an easement just sold to the city by the Fort Madison Community School district.
The path will be an east-west run from the current path to 48th Street. Future plans, or Phase III, calls for this path to be connected to a trail head right across from Avenue L at 48th Street. The path will run west 2,300 feet to the current Fort Madison Community Hospital’s outdoor exercise path.
The Council will also be voting on a resolution to apply for an Iowa Department of Transportation TAP (Transportation Alternative Program) grant that would provide up to 80 percent of the cost of Phase III in reimbursement funds if the city kicks in 20% of the cost of the project.
Phase 1 of the Promoting Outdoor Recreational Trails project is nearing completion according to committee chairwoman Rachel Benda.
“Things are really moving along well,” she said. “We’re finishing up the added touches on Phase 1 including lighting, fencing, benches, etc. Phase II should be breaking ground soon. Now we’re seeking TAP money for Phase III.”
According to City Manager David Varley, Phase II of the project should begin and be completed before the end of the summer if everything goes according to plans.
The council will also be voting to hold a public hearing on an incentive offer to Boulders Inn & Suites as part of the new construction at the hotel.
The city gave the company about $400,000 in incentives when the first section of the hotel was built in 2014 under an urban development agreement with the city. Varley said the hotel came back to the city when they executed plans for the 38-room addition.
“They came to the city again and we put together another incentive package for them,” Varley said. “They wanted $600,000, $300,000 up front and then the $300,000 rebate on property taxes on the new addition. We thought that was a little high. The package will be the same as the first package except we’re recommending the council give them $250,000 up front and $250,00 capped on property tax rebates over six years.”
Under the initial agreement, when the hotel was first built, the city paid $200,000 up front in a forgivable loan and then rebated the lesser of $200,000 or 80% of the increased tax on the property valuation over five years. The new agreement proposes $250,000 up front and then a rebate of the lesser of $250,000 or 80% of the increased tax over six years.
In other action, the council;
- will consider a support resolution for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of 1,000 feet of trail surface at Rodeo Park.
- will consider a resolution authorizing $110,000 in seal coating projects for the city with W. L. Miller Company of Hamilton, Ill.
- will consider a resolution approving a contract for transportation services between the city and Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission.
- will consider a 2nd Amendment to the city’s Urban Renewal Program