BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The City of Fort Madison is looking to borrow $9 million to finish the Hwy. 61 rehabilitation work.
At Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Fort Madison City Council, the council is scheduled to vote on setting a public hearing for June 6, where action can be taken to issue general obligation bonds to generate revenue to pay for the work.
According to the proposed resolution, the council plans to issue the bonds to provide funds to pay the costs of improving the highways and related work.
The city is also looking at building a new public works building and a new fire station which were projected to cost just over $20 million according to Fort Madison Fire Chief Joey Herren. City officials had discussed using funding earmarked for the highway work to help offset some of the costs of building the new structures, and then borrowing money to finish the road work.
The bonds are being proposed under the category of “essential corporate purposes” which include additional options for the use of the revenues.
During the February budget planning this year, City Manager David Varley presented a proposed budget document that including bonding for $7.5 million to complete the 10th to 18th Street work and an asphalt overlay for 20th to 30th Streets.
Varley said at that time if the bonding is done for the projects, the city’s debt service portion of the property tax levy would increase starting in July of 2023.
The budget worksheet on the bonds showed $6.5 million in construction and contract work and close to $1 million in engineering and other professional services.
In other action, the council is scheduled to:
• consider budget amendments totaling close to $5 million that will reduce the city’s ending fund balance on June 30 from $12.5 million to $7.6 million.
• approve the mayor’s signature on a $400,000 Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) Grant for the Fort Madison Marina revitalization.
• consider two amendments to contract fees with HR Green, the city’s engineer on the Hwy. 61 projects. The amendments will increase fees paid to HR Green by approximately $24,600. One amendment was for redesign of storm sewers that would save time and costs on the project. The other was for revisions of tree plantings and retaining wall repairs on the 6th to 10th street work.