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Lee County Jail Work Progressing


The renovations currently underway at the Lee County jail may have to be expanded.

Project Manager John Hanson says the addition of general population female cells and medium security male cells is on schedule and under budget.

He says the work should be completed within a month.

A new project has surfaced, though, that has nothing to do with the additional cells.

Hanson says water is spilling out of a couple of handicapped accessible showers into a walkway, which is creating safety and liability concerns.

He says firm cost estimates are being sought to relocate the showerheads to a different wall and to add a larger curb to each shower to prevent overflow.

The jail has other handicapped accessible showers available to inmates.


Businesses and industries in Lee County are already lining up to take advantage of a new property tax credit.

The tax credit is one aspect of the comprehensive plan approved this year by the Iowa Legislature to reduce commercial property taxes.

Lee County Assessor Teresa Murray says $50-million has been set aside to fund the tax credit during its first year.
She says the number of returned applications, statewide, will determine how much various local governments are reimbursed.

Murray says that is why her office chose to mail applications to about one-thousand eligible business owners.

"I felt that if there was $50-million sitting in Des Moines to be allocated to the counties," says Murray, "why not give the Lee County business property taxpayers the benefit."

Extended Interview w/ Teresa Murray

Murray says hundreds of applications have already been returned to her office.

She says the deadline to file for the tax credit is January 15, 2014.


Lee County wants to help rural fire departments respond to certain emergency situations.

Jackson Township Fire Chief Paul Henson says on several occasions this year, his department had trouble finding mobile homes during medical calls.

He says most rural trailer parks lack a standard numbering system.

The Board of Supervisors has agreed to work with the rural fire departments on an ordinance that would require the installation of small signs to identify each lot.
Supervisor Matt Pflug says trailer park owners would have to cover the cost.

"They were throwing around $30-$35 per sign," says Pflug, "but on a life, you don't put a price on it.  That is where I see it going.  As this board member, I would definately get behind it."

The supervisors plan to have a small committee work on the specific language.

The ordinance is expected to also cover campgrounds.

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