Lee County has started collecting money to cover its share of a potential state grant for a proposed sports complex in Fort Madison.
That is possible because the Board of Supervisors has approved the creation of a Community Development Fund.
The first donations came in shortly after the official vote. Supervisors Rick Larkin ($1,000) and Larry Kruse ($500) pulled out their wallets and wrote their checks to back up their verbal pledges from last week.
It appears Lee County has come up with a way to contribute to a proposed sports complex in Fort Madison without using taxpayer money.
The county is being asked to provide a total of $25,000 over the next five years to the $3.4-million dollar project. The Vision Iowa Board has said without that contribution, Fort Madison will not receive any state funding.
The Lee County Board of Supervisors has rejected previous requests for that much money, but Supervisor Larry Kruse believes a compromise has been reached.
Fort Madison’s proposed sports complex has received another piece of bad news from the state.
Supporters traveled to Mason City to make a second pitch to the Vision Iowa Board for funding. The task force promoting the sports complex is seeking up to $1-million to add to the $2.5-million dollars generated through public and private donations.
Unfortunately for the task force, the request for state funding was denied by an oversight committee for the Vision Iowa Board.
There is some apprehension among members of the Keokuk City Council when it comes to supporting the local hospital.
Keokuk Area Hospital continues to face an uncertain future due to its financial instability.
The hospital says it is reimbursed about 75% of the money spent on care and services. That is due to a number of factors, including a large number of low income clients and the formula for state and/or federal reimbursements.
The ball is in Lee County’s court when it comes to the future of a proposed sports complex in western Fort Madison.
The $3.4-million project calls for the construction of three soccer/football fields and three baseball/softball diamonds near Fort Madison Community Hospital. Some of the land is being donated for the complex while the rest is being leased.
Public and private donations have crossed the $2.4-million mark. That includes $500,000 over the next two years from the city of Fort Madison.
Lee County is showing support for Keokuk Area Hospital as the Board of Supervisors has pledged $100,000 to the financially-strapped hospital.
There is one condition with the contribution. It must be matched or even exceeded by the Keokuk City Council.
Keokuk Area Hospital CEO Wally Winkler says the city and county are being asked for support the hospital in the hopes of receiving additional state funding. He says there is money available to help hospitals, like Keokuk, that receive inadequate reimbursements for services.
Croton and Mooar/Powdertown are a couple of Lee County’s small unincorporated communities. Mooar/Powdertown is located just north of Keokuk, along Highway 61 while Croton sits just a few miles south of Farmington near the Avenue of the Saints.
Neither community has a sanitary sewer system, which prompted them to start working with Mount Pleasant-based RUSS (Regional Utility Service Systems) in 2010.