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Fort Madison Exploring Annexation Again

Fort Madison is considering a new round of voluntary annexation incentives.

The city previously offered incentives to homeowners and businesses located west of Fort Madison Community Hospital.

City Manager Byron Smith says just two of them expressed an interest in the program before the initial deadline.

He says one business is eligible, but the other homeowner is landlocked so the property does not qualify.

Smith says a majority of the rest wanted to know about sewer options if they joined Fort Madison.

He says the city council has authorized him to re-examine the incentives with city sewer as an option.

Smith will start off by getting engineering estimates for a sewer line in that area.

That would be a separate line from the one set to be built along Highway 61 near the Lee County Jail.


Meanwhile, Fort Madison will take a different approach to addressing its aging sewer system.

The city built a disinfection plant in Riverview Park to treat sewer run-off before it reaches the Mississippi River.

Smith says enough data has been collected to show the plant works, but operating the system will also cost much more than anticipated.

He says the city still plans to connect a few more lines to the current plant, but the rest of the combined sanitary and storm-water system will be separated.

The majority of it is east of 18th Street.

Smith says the cost of separation would be about $10-million.

Fort Madison has until 2027 to comply with EPA sewer requirements.

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