WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Lee County Planning to Divide $$$

Sep 27, 2012

Lee County is working on a plan for dividing up some potential revenue associated with a proposed fertilizer plant near Wever, IA.

Iowa Fertilizer Company has agreed to make annual payments in lieu of property taxes (PILOT) to Lee County for 20 years.  IFC will also pay for all infrastructure improvements.

In exchange, the county will waive the property taxes associated with any site improvements to several hundred acres of existing farmland for the same 20 years.

The payments will start out at $370,000 for the first five years.  They will eventually reach $1.3-million during the final five years of the agreement.

Lee County Supervisor Larry Kruse says this money is on top of the revenue already brought in on the farmland. 

It will continue to be taxed, but at a higher level because it will be used for industrial purposes instead of agriculture.

The Lee County Auditor’s Office says four governmental bodies currently divide the property taxes collected from the land in question.

Lee County, Fort Madison School District, Wever Fire Department & Green Bay Township.

Kruse expects the PILOTs to be split based on the existing percentages, with the Fort Madison School District receiving the most.

The Board of Supervisors plans to discuss the distribution plan during its next meeting.


The general public could have more opportunities to weigh in on Lee County business.

Each Board of Supervisors meeting, including this week’s meeting, features a section for Citizen Comments, Questions or Concerns.

It is generally one of the first items on the weekly agenda to allow the public to leave after making their statement to the board.

Several residents have asked the board to add a second comment section to the bottom of the agenda to allow for more public input on what was discussed during the meeting.

Supervisor Gary Folluo says he would welcome another comment section.  He says, right now, the public has to try to weigh in on a topic before the board even discusses it.

Board Chairperson Janet Fife-LaFrenz says she will review the requests.

The idea of holding two public input sessions in one meeting is not new to this area.

The Des Moines County Board of Supervisors holds two sessions during each of its meetings.  One is towards the top of the agenda while the other is at the end.