WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Lee County Incentive Package

Feb 23, 2012

Lee County is pledging its support to an effort to land a new industry.

The Board of Supervisors has agreed to meet, or even exceed, the 20% local match required for Iowa Fertilizer Company to receive state funding.

The company is considering the county for a $1.3-billion fertilizer plant.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority Board has signed off on tax credits and $1.6-million in loans for the project, half of which would be forgiven if certain requirements are met.

Lee County Supervisor Larry Kruse says the local match, roughly $320,000, could come from several sources.

“Some money that Fort Madison has put up for the high quality jobs (program), that would count towards it,” says Kruse, adding “there is also a tax abatement that any corporation coming in can receive.  It is a 5-year plan under Iowa code.”

Kruse says infrastructure work could also count as in-kind contributions.

He says the final scope of the county’s involvement will be determined at a later date.

Iowa Fertilizer’s parent company is pledging to put $100-million into the project.

A majority of the funding for the plant would be borrowed through a program involving disaster bonds related to severe weather in 2008.

Kruse says the company is working on an aggressive timeline, with a groundbreaking this year and completion slated for 2014.

He says the new fertilizer plant would benefit farmers from throughout the Midwest.