Councilman puts Avenue E parking back on agenda


FORT MADISON – After defeating a measure to eliminate parking on the south side of Avenue E up to 24th Street, the issue is once again on the Fort Madison City Council’s mind… and agenda.

Newly appointed 2nd Ward councilman Tom Schulz voted against the ban on Dec. 1, but asked that the item be reconsidered – and it will on Tuesday’s agenda.

In a weird 3-2 vote in favor of the ban at the last meeting, the vote actually failed because councilmen Kevin Rink and Chad Cangas weren’t in attendance and for a resolution or ordinance to pass in Iowa, it has to have a majority vote of the full council.

That would have required at least four votes in favor on a seven-member council to be approved. Schulz and councilman Rusty Andrews voted against the move.

Fort Madison City Clerk Melinda Blind said the only way the measure could be get reconsidered was if one of the dissenting councilman asked for a reconsideration.

Schulz did that last week.

‘I just think that it’s a big enough issue that it should be voted on by the full council,” Schulz said Friday.

Schulz did ask at the meeting for the measure to be tabled, but it never got to an official vote and he voted absent. Mayor Matt Mohrfeld told him it was an up or down vote, and Schulz voted no.

Schulz said his concern is over the safety of residents along Avenue E walking across the street to homes on the south side in areas that aren’t very well lit.

“I’d surrender 10,000… 100,000 broken side view mirrors to save one person’s life,” Schulz said.

Fort Madison Police Chief Mark Rohloff said data from 2020 shows that accidents along that stretch of highway are up substantially and the highway was not built for the amount of traffic that runs on it daily.

The measure will be presented as a motion to reconsider the third reading of the ordinance and then, if that is approved, there would be the actual third reading of the ordinance. If that vote is approved with at least four votes, it would become part of the city code.

In other action: the council:
• will consider the 3rd reading of an ordinance instituting new franchise tax agreements and fees with Interstate Power and Light and MidAmerican Energy.
• will consider vacating a portion of city right-of-way in the 2600 block of Avenue L.
• will consider an authorization to apply for Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) Grant for 2,450 feet of P.O.R.T. trail from Avenue L to River Valley
• will consider an authorization to apply for a Surface Transportation Block Grant for funds to help offset costs of reconstruction of Hwy. 61 between 30th and 41st Streets.

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