City may have to shut down part of 8th Street by Block building

Building Director says additional settling has occurred


FORT MADISON - City officials are looking again at closing down part of 8th Street due to continued deterioration of the James Block building.
The former Humphrey building has seen some additional crumbling on the west side adjacent to 8th Street and Fort Madison Building Director Doug Krogmeier said addtional settling has occured and the city is looking at barricading part of the street again.
Krogmeier said conversations are planned again around the building later this week with city staff, including Fort Madison Fire Chief Joey Herren.
"We're keeping an eye on the building downtown. We're probably going to talk with Joey again when he gets back about the road situation," Krogmeier said Tuesday.
"We may look at closing that. It's moving still and we don't have any significant movement (on the building), so I have to do something about it. We're probably going to take that step in the near future."
Krogmeier said the vacant building behind Pilot Grove Savings Bank with the damaged garage has been sold to another firm.
"It's one of those companies that buys tax certificates and gets ownership and sells. I don't think they've even physically seen the building, but they have a picture now, so I think they'll be intrigued by it," Krogmeier said.
Krogmeier said the the firm paid quite a bit for the building and, aside from the garage, the building is still in good shape.
"If they take the garage down and maybe make some parking there, the rest of the building is in pretty good shape," he said.
He said the firm is out of Des Moines and he hopes the close proximity will yield positive results on the building.
Fort Madison took possession of the Block building at 732 Avenue G in March on an order from District 8B Judge John Wright.
The building was ordered vacated in the summer of 2021 due to deteriorating and unsafe living conditions.
In the spring, environmental work was being done on the building to ready it for possible transfer or sale for future rehabilitation.

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