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Sports Complex

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The countdown is on before children take to the brand new athletic fields at the Fort Madison Sports Complex. The first opportunity could be a softball tournament in August.

Jason Parrott / Tri States Public Radio

Crews will not have to be in such a hurry to complete the new multi-sports complex in Fort Madison.

Community leaders in Fort Madison have broke ground on a construction project that’s been years in the making.

A multi-million dollar project on Fort Madison's west side is ready to proceed.

FM Complex Requires More Money

Nov 5, 2012

The effort to build a multi-sport complex in Fort Madison is getting some help with some unanticipated expenses.

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.

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.

The state of Iowa is really getting behind the development of a sports complex in western Fort Madison.  The site will feature multiple football/soccer fields and baseball/softball diamonds.

The Vision Iowa Board’s Community Attraction & Tourism Committee recently wrapped up negotiations with the complex committee on the size of a grant.

The panel announced during its meeting on Wednesday morning that the sports complex would receive $766,000.

The complex committee’s initial request was for more than $900,000. 

The 3rd time was the charm in Fort Madison’s attempt to land some state funding for a proposed sports complex.

The Fort Madison Sports Complex Committee applied for nearly $900,000 through the Vision Iowa Board’s Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) Committee.

The group walked away with nothing but advice and recommendations after its first two presentations to the CAT Committee.

The third trip, though, led Vision Iowa to agree to enter into negotiations with the sports complex committee to determine how much state funding would be provided.

Lee County will provide money for a proposed sports complex in Fort Madison.  The decision comes after the Board of Supervisors spent weeks rejecting requests for funding.

The Vision Iowa Board has said that Fort Madison’s request for more than $800,000 will not be considered without a $25,000 contribution from the county.  The program requires city, county, and public support for a project.

It’s unclear whether Lee County’s support for a proposed sports complex in Fort Madison will lead to any state funding.  The project calls for the construction of three football/soccer fields and three softball/baseball diamonds.

The Vision Iowa Board says the county must provide at least $25,000 if the board is to act on Fort Madison’s request for more than $870,000.

The county has created a special community development fund to try to raise the money.  $1,500 has already been pledged at this point.

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.

The city of Fort Madison is going to take its turn in trying to secure funding for a proposed sports complex.

The city has already pledged $500,000 over the next two years to the construction of three football/soccer fields and three baseball/softball diamonds.

The city council will write a letter to the Lee County Board of Supervisors to try to encourage the county to increase its contribution of $3,000 over three years.

Mayor Brad Randolph asked for the letter to be placed before the council.

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.

The Lee County Board of Supervisors has decided against increasing the county’s contribution to a proposed sports complex in western Fort Madison.

The panel had previously agreed to provide a letter of support for the project along with all of the county’s hotel/motel tax revenue for the project. 

That sounds much better than it looks on paper, though, as Lee County generates less than $1,000 a year from that tax.

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.

Supporters of a proposed sports complex in western Fort Madison have received some good news from the state.

Tim Gobble with Fort Madison Partners says more than $2-million has been pledged or donated to build three baseball/softball diamonds and three football/soccer fields.

That includes $1.25-million from Fort Madison’s branch of the Southeast Iowa Regional Riverboat Commission, $500,000 from the city, and $175,000 from Pinnacle Foods.

That’s more than 60% of what is needed for the project to move forward.