BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – There has been a lot of activity going on in downtown Fort Madison this summer.
The Hesse 7th Street Marketplace is up and running, downtown business owners are meeting to discuss the future of Avenue G, and work should begin shortly on the upper apartment renovations that have been in the works for the past several years.
Barker Financial Group of Iowa City has stepped to the plate to finish the work on the Cattermole Library and the old Lee County Bank building. The Sears building was also in the original plans, but what improvements will be made to that building are still undecided.
That work was originally set to begin the first week in June, but Friday, Fort Madison City Manager David Varley said the work has been pushed back to the beginning of July.
“Most of what they do they self-fund,” Varley said. “But since this project involves Community Development Block Grants they’re still working through that documentation and process.”
“This a low-to-middle income housing to qualify for those grants so that’s a little different for them, but we should see them beginning in July.” he said.
The city will function as the funding pass-through for the project, but the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission will administer the work for the city.