Fort Madison is now part of a program that helps cities collect outstanding debt.
The Iowa Department of Administrative Services oversees the state’s Offset Program.
It allows for the withholding of state payments to account for outstanding debts. The payments could include income tax refunds and lottery winnings.
City Manager Byron Smith says joining the program will make it easier to collect late utility bills, which are an issue in Fort Madison.
“There are probably 20%-30% that are delinquent at any given time,” says Smith.
He says the city currently adds delinquent fees to property tax bills, but that does not address people who moved without paying their bills.
Smith says the city would be charged $7 every time it receives a payment through the Offset Program.
He says the program collected $22-million, statewide, in 2008.
Don’t expect to see a lot of work at Fort Madison’s airport in the near future.
The airport’s five-year capital improvement plan, which has received city council approval, contains just two projects.
The removal and replacement of insulation at one hangar is scheduled for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2013.
The construction of a new hangar is slated for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2017.
City Manager Byron Smith says scheduling fewer projects over the next five years will help the city build a parallel taxiway in the following years.
“That one is going to take a little while to build up the federal dollars needed to complete that project,” says Smith.
The construction of a parallel taxiway is expected to cost about $1.7-million.
He says some of the recently completed projects at the Fort Madison Municipal Airport are the construction of a new hangar and new runway turnarounds.
Fort Madison has started the process of establishing a speed zone near the new middle school along 48th Street.
The 25 MPH speed limit would be enforced from 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. on weekdays when school is in session.
The city council must approve the speed zone two more times.