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.
Future mayors of Fort Madison could have more authority and input on city matters.
The city currently functions with a part-time mayor, a full-time city manager and seven city council members.
Two of the seven city council members are selected at large while the remaining five each represent one of Fort Madison’s five wards.
City Manager Byron Smith says the panel is exploring several potential changes to that current structure.
He says the discussions are based on one of the goals established during a goal-setting workshop held earlier this year.
Fort Madison wants to make it more enticing for rural property owners to join the city.
The city council has signed off on a series of incentives available to those interested in voluntarily annexing into the city.
City Manager Byron Smith says the incentives include the gradual phasing in of the city’s property tax rate and the possibility of offering a specific zoning designation for a property.
They also allow the city to cover certain legal expenses and reduce utility connection fees.
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.
A Fort Madison tradition marked a significant milestone this year.
The Charlie Korschgen 4th of July Kiddie Parade got its start in 1913.
Andy Andrews was Grand Marshall for the 100th Anniversary of the event.
He has been involved in the organization of the Kiddie Parade for more than 50 years.
Andrews says it got its start when Korschgen decided to teach the neighborhood kids about patriotism and July 4. He says the first parade had just 14 kids.