WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Housing Concerns in SE Iowa

Jan 14, 2013

Iowa Fertilizer Company’s new production plant in northern Lee County could have an even larger impact on the local housing market than first anticipated.

The groundbreaking for Iowa Fertilizer Company in late 2012

Early estimates put the number of temporary workers needed to build the $1-billion+ plant near Wever at about 2,500 over three years.

Lee County Supervisor Gary Folluo was part of the negotiating team that worked to bring Iowa Fertilizer Company to the county.

He says the company has increased the number of temporary workers to as many as 3,500.

“It’s going to be a big concern when you have that many people coming into your community,” says Folluo.

He says organizations including the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission and the Lee County Economic Development Group have started working on a housing study.

The report being prepared for Iowa Fertilizer Company will provide all housing options within a 45-minute radius of the plant, including Illinois and Missouri.

Folluo says that could include trailer parks, renovated buildings, and even campsites.

He says the company’s timeline calls for more than 1,000 workers to be onsite before the end of the year and more than 3,000 during the spring of 2014.