Crumbling Building

Council to consider emergency action on building

Deteriorating conditions forcing city to take action to shore up west side of Block Building


FORT MADISON - The Fort Madison City Council will consider action Tuesday night to authorize emergency repairs to a downtown building.

A resolution on the City Council agenda for Tuesday's regular meeting would authorize Mayor Matt Mohrfeld to order repairs to the building to avoid a potential of the west side of the James Block Building, formerly known as the Humphrey building, on the southeast corner of Avenue G and 8th Street.

City crews barricaded all of Eighth Street from Avenue G south to the alley between Avenues G and H last week after additional settling and damage had been noticed by City Building Director Doug Krogmeier and City Fire Chief Joey Herren.

Herren ordered the barricades be placed across the entire street a week ago.

The authorization will allow the city to contract for repairs without having to go through the regular process of advertising and going out for bids on the work.

The resolution reads in part, "an emergency abatement is necessary to provide for the safety of surrounding businesses, and the delay in advertising and a public letting might cause serious loss, injury, or damage to the James Block Building past the point of repair."

Mohrfeld said last week he's trying to get a developer involved in the remediations so as not to jeopardize the marketability of the structure, and not waste taxpayer dollars on something that doesn't fit future plans of the building.

He said a private investor has entered conversations about the building, but wasn't ready to release the name of the individual yet.

Also on Tuesday's agenda is a:
• first reading of an ordinance rezoning 1629, 1633, and 1641 33rd Street to I-1 limited industrial district from the current R4 residential district. The property is owned by Aaron and Bridgette Prado who are are looking to expand their business in the area.
• a resolution to apply for REAP grant for the Phase IV 48th Street Trail Connector.
• the second reading of an ordinance adding a $750 per day fine for on-going egregious civil infractions, to city code.
• the mayor's appointment of Jamie Carle to the Fort Madison Housing Authority fo a term to expire June 3, 2023.


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