City to take another look at tourism efforts

Work session on tourism planned after regular City Council meeting Tuesday


FORT MADISON - Fort Madison city officials are going to take another look at tourism efforts in the  city following Tuesday's regular City Council meeting.

A rare work session has been planned to follow the regular council meeting for a discussion around the creation and funding of a tourism bureau.

A group of interested parties has had several meetings around a county tourism focus over the past several months, but no definitive plans have surfaced out of that group's conversations.

The city lost its part-time tourism director Jean Peiton more than a year ago when she retired to pursue another career.

Since that time, no concerted efforts have been underway with promoting the city via tourism funding or a tourism mechanism.

Another topic that could come up during council member reports is an encampment that has surfaced near Avenue N and 23rd Street.

Fort Madison City Councilman Tom Schulz put out a statement this week about the encampment. Councilwoman Donna Amandus has been pressuring city officials to act on the encampment.

Schulz, a Republican, and Amandus, a Democrat, are opponents for the open Lee County Supervisor's seat being vacated by Rick Larkin.

Schulz said the area looks like a homeless encampment and, although it's not what the city necessarily wants, a tempered approach is the better option.

Fort Madison Police Chief Mark Rohloff said it's more of a code enforcement and to this point, no illegal activity has been observed by anyone.

"I don't believe that sending our Police Department or code enforcement officials into this area and just clearing it out and disposing of what might be somebody's only physical possessions is the way to go," Schulz said.

"I have no doubt that this is going to be a topic of conversation at our upcoming city Council meeting and it is certain to be interesting and lively," he said.

Also on the agenda is:
• a resolution to transfer 2400 linear feet of city water main to Rathbun Regional Water Association.

Fort Madison City Council, special workshop, homeless encampment, City Councilman Tom Schulz, City Councilwoman Donna Amandus, tourism, Pen City Current,


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