An effort to modernize a stretch of Highway 61 that runs through Fort Madison could return to the city council next month.
The city council voted 3-3 on an engineering contract with Cedar Rapids-based HR Green, which handled the engineering work on the new water plant. The tie vote means the contract failed.
4th Ward Alderman Jason Huppert was not at the meeting.
City Manager Byron Smith says it came down to money.
He says the firm was going to charge the city about $260,000, but several council members felt the fee should be 1/2 that amount, promoting the split vote.
Smith says city staff is working with the firm to revise the proposal in time for the March 18 City Council meeting.
"Go into a little more detail about exactly what we are going to be doing," says Smith, "so we are looking at maybe a presentation and then someways to maybe save a little bit, but not down to the halfway point."
Smith says the city wants HR Green to determine options for improving the stretch of road from the former Shaeffer Pen plant to just past Fort Madison Community Hospital.
Fort Madison received nearly $14-million from the state to take control of the road.