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Lee County to Hire Outside Counsel

May 10, 2012

Lee County will receive some outside help in its efforts to land a new industry.

The Board of Supervisors has agreed to hire attorney Bob Josten to negotiate with Iowa Fertilizer Company on behalf of the county.  Josten is with Dorsey & Whitney, a Des Moines-based law firm the county uses when it borrows money.

Iowa Fertilizer Company is considering a 300-acre site near Wever for a $1.3-billion dollar fertilizer plant. 

Orascom Construction Industries out of Egypt would put about $100-million towards the project while taking advantage of $1.2-billion in disaster bonds.

Lee County Supervisor Larry Kruse says County Attorney Mike Short has been involved in the discussions with Iowa Fertilizer Company to this point.  Kruse says the discussions are nearing contract talks, which Short feels is beyond his area of expertise.

Iowa Fertilizer Company’s proposed plant would require several thousand construction workers and employ more than 150 people.

The supervisors have agreed to pay Josten up to $10,000 for his services.

It’s unclear when a formal announcement about the plant could be made as negotiations remain behind closed doors.