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Fort Madison Turns Down TV Spot

Fort Madison City Council - 500_4.jpg

The Fort Madison City Council has turned down an opportunity for some national recognition after voting against a proposal to have the city featured on the national television program, “Today in America.”

City Manager Byron Smith says the show’s production company contacted Fort Madison about producing a five-minute, “network-quality” feature on the city as a “hidden gem.”

The feature would have cost the city nearly $20,000.

For that price, Fort Madison would retain ownership rights to the feature, which would air at least one time on a national program and 19-times on regional broadcasts.

Smith says the city council felt the cost was too high at this time.

He says the production company’s timeline did not allow him to seek partners, such as Fort Madison’s Tourism Commission, to share in the cost of the feature.

Smith says he is now reaching out to individuals and organizations in the hopes of securing the money in time for the company to consider Fort Madison in the future.


The city is moving ahead with some long-term planning as the city council has adopted a new 5-year capital improvement plan.

Smith says this is the first time Fort Madison has had a long-term strategy for infrastructure and equipment.  The document lists timelines, revenue sources, and project costs.

He says the projects listed for 2012/2013 have already been included in next year’s budget.

They include the purchase of a police vehicle, a riding lawnmower and a one-ton truck along with the demolition of an old office building and some street reconstruction.

“The other years are just planning,” says Smith, “to help us decide what we should be looking for in these years.”

Some of the projects listed over the next four years include street resurfacing, the purchase of a fire engine and sidewalk extensions.

Fort Madison’s new Capital Improvement Plan also includes a category known as “Unassigned by Identified Projects” for the Public Works, Fire, Library, Parks and Water Departments.

That list includes the construction of a new fire station, the completion of the Rodeo Park Trail and the reconstruction of more than a dozen blocks worth of city streets.


Fort Madison hopes to have a new comprehensive plan in place by early next year.

Smith says the city’s current plan has been around for more than a decade, so a complete re-write is needed.

He says the consultants hired to develop Fort Madison’s new plan will be able to use some of the recent studies the city has commissioned including the capital improvement plan and a study on bypass annexation.

Smith says the consultants should be in the city at least one time a month for the foreseeable future to gather input and data.

He says that includes another large-scale, public meeting which is tentatively scheduled for August.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.