City looking to deal on vacant lots


City has 11 properties for sale and wants three to see business development


FORT MADISON - The city of Fort Madison is looking to deal on about eight properties in town, three of which officials are hoping to see some business development on.

At Tuesday's meeting of the Fort Madison City Council, City Clerk Melinda Blind said the city has some properties it is looking to divest itself of and the properties will be put up for bid on the city's website.

"The city has some properties we need to sell. We've done up little flyers and they will be listed on the city website. We have signs that will be placed in the yards, too," she said.

The properties for sale are at 2614 and 2618 Avenue O, a block and a half south of Hy-Vee; 2715 Avenue O, which is one block to the west; 1301 Avenue I, a half-block southwest of the Daily Democrat; 1410 and 1412 Avenue E; and 1713 and 1715 Avenue H.

Blind said the city is using a process that Burlington uses to move city property into the hands of developers.

"We will put a minimum bid on it and people can come in and fill out a form and then turn it in. Then the bid comes before the city council where the mayor can use his gavel," Blind said.

She said bidders will have to be responsible citizens without any reports of nuisance properties in their name. The city will list the properties on the website where they will stay until someone shows interest in it.

She's already had calls from interested parties about city properties that might be for sale.

"Hopefully, we might seem some changing of the hands on these."

There are also three other properties that are being advertised for development proposals.

Those three are located at 1320, 1324, and 1328 Avenue H which is property across from River City Motors Plus on Business 61.

City Building Director Doug Krogmeier said the city would like to see some business development instead of solely housing replenishment.

"Some we're going to treat a little differently. I don't want to just see a house go up on it. We'll try to work with somebody for a business. Something that will be of benefit to others," Krogmeier said.

Blind said the city can create an agreement with anyone who purchases the property to rehabilitate it.

"The people come in and they agree for $500 they buy the property - they come in and fix it up - get permits and Doug comes in (to inspect) and they have a certain time frame to do this. Hopefully we'll get more properties taken care of this way," Blind said.

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