Fort Madison is moving ahead with a plan to reorganize several departments.
Six veteran employees signed up to take advantage of the city’s early retirement program, which means they will be stepping down before the end of the calendar year.
City Manager Byron Smith says the group of retiring employees includes the heads of the water department, the public works department and the wastewater treatment plant.
He says the city will replace the three positions with one new public works director.
“That new position would be the director for each department,” says Smith, “and underneath it, we would have superintendent level positions over each of the different areas.”
Smith says the superintendents would be individuals already on staff.
He hopes to have a new public works director in place by October.
The other three employees who are retiring will be replaced. They work in the water department, the police department, and the wastewater treatment plant.
Smith says this year’s early retirement program should save the city about $90,000 annually.
BOARDS & COMMISSIONS
Fort Madison residents have a few opportunities to serve their city as applications are being accepted to fill openings on 5 unpaid boards and commissions.
The list includes the Old Fort Commission and the Board of Adjustment.
Applicants must be at least 18-years old to serve on the boards or commissions.
Fort Madison can now move ahead with plans to extend a sewer line to a group of industries along Highway 61.
The city held off on starting the engineering work so the Lee County Board of Supervisors could decide whether to connect the county jail to city sewer via the extended line.
City Manager Byron Smith says the line would have to be extended a little farther than originally proposed to reach the jail.
The supervisors have unanimously approved connecting to the system, so engineering can now get underway.
Smith says the engineers have a good idea of where the line will be located.
“We are still tying down the location of the pump station,” says Smith, “but we pretty much know where that will go so they are just starting to get it down on paper. Hopefully, we can go to bid at the end of this year or the first of next year.”
That timeline would allow construction to get underway in the spring.
The project carries a price tag of about $3-million, which will be split between Fort Madison and the federal Economic Development Administration.
The cost for the county to connect to the proposed line is expected to be about $140,000.
The Fort Madison City Council has started the process of rezoning about 35 acres of land on the city’s west side.
The site near Fort Madison Community Hospital would house a proposed sports complex.
City Manager Byron Smith says the land would be rezoned from residential to business to allow for alcohol to be sold on-site.
Fort Madison’s Planning and Zoning Commission has already signed off on a special use permit that would allow alcohol to be sold and consumed on-site.
The city council must approve the rezoning two more times.