Fort Madison To Get Loan, Not Grant

Fort Madison, IA – A recent announcement might not result in more funding for Fort Madison's new water plant.

City Manager Byron Smith says Fort Madison was notified, around July 20, that $5.5-million dollars would be available for the project. The city is building a new 5-million gallon/day plant along Highway 61 between Montrose and Fort Madison.

Smith says it appears the money is in the form of an extension of the city's borrowing authority and not in the form of a grant. "I think that this point we will not need the excess loan authority," he says, "there are some other water system improvements that we are going to be doing in conjunction with the plant but we think with the favorable bid amounts, we can do that without the excess loan authority."

At this point, the bids to construct the plant and the associated wells have come in under engineering estimates. Smith says residents could see some water rate relief given the current cost estimates.

Bids will soon be accepted from firms looking to build the water line that will connect the soon-to-be-built plant to the current distribution system. That line will run next to the Lee County jail so water can be provided to that facility.

Fort Madison has received around $3.5-million in grants for the project. An Iowa City firm will build the water plant.