Fort Madison officials may acquire old prison

Officials in Fort Madison are discussing taking ownership of the old Iowa State Penitentiary, parts of which date to 1839.

The Burlington Hawk Eye reports the City Council expressed interest in obtaining the prison at a recent meeting. Council members have discussed the matter with state officials, and City Manager Byron Smith says he should have more details about a possible deal soon.

Smith says negotiations have focused on how much of the prison the city would take and what it would cost.

Smith says any deal would be sure "not to burden the city."

The penitentiary will be available because the state is building a new prison, which is nearing completion.

City officials haven't decided specifically how they would use the old prison.