Fort Madison appears to be getting a good deal on some upcoming sewer work.
The City Council has hired K&N Excavating out of Hamilton, IL to repair a sewer line near 10th Street between Avenues E & F.
The winning bid of nearly $130,000 was more than $60,000 less than initial estimates. It was also substantially lower than the three other bids.
City Manager Byron Smith says the company told the city the bid was low because it is very hungry for the work.
He says the line has had several problems in recent years, prompting the need for the repairs.
Fort Madison residents seem ready for a large-scale infrastructure improvement program.
The city is considering a plan to borrow roughly $6-million to rebuild streets and repair/upgrade multiple parks.
City Manager Byron Smith said the work would be done over two years. He said the plan could increase the property tax rate by one-dollars-and-fifty-cents.
Despite that, no one attending three recent public hearings expressed opposition, which surprised Smith.
“I though, for sure, that we would have some people come and say ‘don’t do it,” said Smith. “Part of my introduction to the idea for each meeting was to talk about the reasons why we were considering it now and go through that. Nobody piped up and said to not do it.”
Smith said, instead, residents offered ideas as to where the money could be spent.
Some were general in nature, asking for projects to be spread throughout the city while others were specific, such as rebuilding about 5 blocks of 16th Street.
Smith says the input collected will be presented to the Fort Madison City Council at a future meeting.