Fort Madison is moving ahead with plans to extend city limits.
The city council has agreed to offer a series of annexation incentives to property owners near the Highway 2 interchange on Fort Madison’s west side.
The incentives include a reduction of utility connection fees by 50% if the connection is made within five years, a waiving of all administrative fees, and the grandfathering in of zoning designations as much as possible.
There would also be a 10-year sliding scale transitioning city taxes. For example, during the first two years within city limits, the city would abate 75% of its property taxes on a property.
The incentives were agreed upon in July.
City Manager Byron Smith says about 550 acres of land around the Highway 2 interchange, much of which is zoned commercial or industrial, are being targeted.
He says water, police and fire services are already available in that area. The city is looking to extend its sewer system in that direction.
The targeted property owners have until July to sign the pre-annexation agreement.
Smith says if they don’t, the city will consider other methods for bringing the land within city limits.
Annexing the land around each of the Highway 61 bypasses emerged as a top priority for Fort Madison during a recent goal-setting session.