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Fort Madison Approves Retail Store

A retail store will be built on an undeveloped historic site in Fort Madison.

The city council has agreed to divide the former Shaeffer Pen parking lot into two sections.  The move was previously approved by the city's Planning & Zoning board.

A developer plans to build a Dollar General on the western lot.

City Manager Byron Smith said there are no plans for the eastern lot at this time, which is why the developer is considering donating it to a national organization that works to preserve archeological sites.

He said a 2009 study revealed that the eastern lot had the most historic value as it was a battlefield during the War of 1812.

“Basically, if the (developer does) donate that (land), that gives the part with the most potential the chance to be preserved."

Some opponents would like to see an interpretive center built there for potential tourism opportunities.

Others said there should be no new construction to preserve the history of the site.

Smith said the developer can start construction as soon as a building permit is secured.

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