Mayor peddles marina project to SIRRC



FORT MADISON - Fort Madison Mayor Matt Mohrfeld continues to carry a renewed vision for the city's marina to local groups for funding.

Mohrfeld told the Fort Madison City Council on Tuesday that he met with the Southeast Iowa Regional Riverboat Commission about helping fund part of the vision.

The city's is looking at what Mohrfeld has been dubbing a "5-Star" Marina that has a preliminary price tag of about $6 million.

"I made a presentation to the SIRRC group (Monday) night for the $1.5 million for docks. They were very, very excited about the project," Mohrfeld said.

"We've got a two-week period of them looking at where they will come in on that, but that was a nice discussion and a nice meeting - so that was the next step."

The project initially involves dredging the marina, which is already being planned for this fall, repairing and raising the jetty wall approximately five feet to take it out of the 500-year flood plain, and brand new docks and boat slips to accommodate additional boaters. About half of the new docks would be covered.

Future plans include raising the north road out of the 500-year-flood plain.

Plans also include a new hospitality center with amenities, fuel and convenience items, food and beverage services, additional repairs to the marina wall, and upgraded parking services.

The project is being planned as a public-private partnership with both for-profit and non-profit entities involved with several lease relationships.

Proceeds from the new dock and slip rental, with a goal of 110 new docks, would be used to maintain the new docks and dredging as needed. The higher jetty wall would reduce the silt that currently settles in the marina causing boater issues.

Mohrfeld said a recent examination of the marina showed more silt had settled after recent flooding that had been originally estimated, so deeper dredging could take place.

The mayor credited Public Works director Mark Bousselot for getting FEMA to take another look at the Fort Madison project.

Mohrfeld said the next conversations will be with other investment groups and then where and how the city contributes.

"The coming weeks will see meetings set up with the private investor side. The important thing there is that we're moving forward," he said.

The Fort Madison City Council has been receptive to the idea, but the city may have to contribute up to $1.5 million to get trigger the other investments.

"There will have to be a jump on spot and I don't know when that is, but I will continue to update you on that," he said Tuesday night.

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