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FM Property Owners Face Fines

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Some property owners in Fort Madison are running out to time to comply with the city’s rental inspection program.

City Manager Byron Smith says every rental property must be registered with the city as part of the program that was developed in 2012.

He says more than 500 properties are now on the registry, but there are still several hundred holdouts.

At the current pace, the first round of inspections should be completed in 2015.

"We are going to be under the assumption that they are rentals," says Smith, "because they do not have a homestead exemption and also, maybe there is a different mailing address from the actual property."

Smith says both local and out-of-state property owners are involved.

He says the hold-outs have until March 31 to comply with the registration requirement.

That is when a $300 fine will be assessed.  If it is ignored, it will end up on the associated property tax bill.

Smith says overall, the rental inspection program is going well.  He says at the current pace, the first round of inspections should be completed in 2015.

Smith says he updated the Fort Madison City Council on the program in case members started getting calls from affected residents.

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