WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Lee County to Help With Security At Fertilizer Plant

Jul 5, 2019

The Lee County Sheriff's Office will help provide security during a planned shutdown of a local manufacturing plant.

Iowa Fertilizer Company said in a statement that its plant near Wever will be off-line from July 6 to early August to allow the facility to be inspected, cleaned, and repaired as needed. The company estimated it will have as many as 600 temporary workers on-site during that time.

In response, the company is contracting with the sheriff’s office for additional security. County Board Chairman Gary Folluo said there will be no cost to the taxpayers.

“IFC is paying for everything,” said Folluo. “They are paying for wages and IPERS [retirement], their benefits, through a fee that we have attached to the agreement.”

Sheriff Stacy Weber said he will not assign anyone specifically to the plant security detail. Instead, he said there will be a sign-up sheet for sworn officers or reserve deputies. They can choose times outside of their regular shifts.

The duties listed in the agreement, which the county board approved this month, include:

  • Walk through the Contractor Parking Lot
  • Address individuals of suspicious behavior
  • Check credentials
  • Provide drug sniffing dog as needed
  • Drive the perimeter of the plant

Officers will be paid $35.00-$40.60 per hour to provide security. The county will also receive $50 per day per officer and IFC will pay all overtime expenses.

IFC said the planned shutdown will result in an approximately $30 million investment in the plant and the surrounding community. It said residents should expect to see increased activity on-site and increased traffic in the area.

IFC said planned outages will take place every 2-4 years. The plant near Wever has been open for about two years.