WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Fort Madison Application Advancing

Feb 27, 2012

Supporters of a proposed sports complex in western Fort Madison have received some good news from the state.

Tim Gobble with Fort Madison Partners says more than $2-million has been pledged or donated to build three baseball/softball diamonds and three football/soccer fields.

That includes $1.25-million from Fort Madison’s branch of the Southeast Iowa Regional Riverboat Commission, $500,000 from the city, and $175,000 from Pinnacle Foods.

That’s more than 60% of what is needed for the project to move forward.

Gobble says another $1-million is being sought from the Vision Iowa Program.

The program was created to assist projects that will provide recreational, cultural, entertainment and education attractions.

He says supporters learned, late Monday afternoon, that the application had made it to the next round, which involves going before the Vision Iowa Board on March 14.

Gobble says the group will make an 8-10 minute presentation touting the project.

He says the next two weeks will be spent addressing concerns that came up during the review of the Vision Iowa application.

They include a more clear definition of the operating budget and a further explanation of the proposed contribution from the Lee County Board of Supervisors.

The Supervisors pledged all of its hotel/motel tax revenue for the next few years, which is estimated at just over $500.

The complex would also feature a concession stands, bleachers, an open air pavilion and a parking lot with 400+ parking spaces.

The land would be donated by Fort Madison Community Hospital and Baxter Construction.