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Montrose Makes County Government Pitch

Feb 16, 2012

One local mayor says Lee County would be better off making his community the home of county government.

The Park Ridge Workshop complex in Montrose features more than 30,000 square feet of space.

The price tag for the three steel buildings has been reduced to $385,000.

Mayor Bob Reid says they could house the Lee County Conservation and Health Departments as opposed to a brand new building along Highway 61.

In fact, he says the buildings are large enough to handle all of county government, especially with expansion capabilities.

The complex was previously used for workshops for residents with mental health or other developmental disabilities.

Reid says a corporation owns the three buildings while Montrose owns most of the land.

He says there has been some interest shown of late in the Park Ridge Workshop.



City leaders in Montrose hope some “peer pressure” will improve the city’s appearance.

Reid says the city is reaching out to each resident to clean up their property.

“We don’t want to just pick on one person and say ‘hey, we don’t like the look of your yard, you have to fix it,’” says Reid, “but some houses need some painting or some trash picked up.”

Reid says this will address the small amount of nuisances before they become problems.

He says there is not a need for fines or penalties at this time.



Montrose will soon have to rely solely on the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement coverage.

The city council met Tuesday night to discuss how to replace Police Chief Karl Judd and a reserve officer.

They have each announced their resignations.

Instead of taking action, the council found out the city’s only other reserve officer is stepping down effective February 21st.

The Sheriff’s Office will cover the city for the time being.

The public safety committee plans to meet to discuss the three vacancies.

The city has yet to make a decision on whether Judd will have to reimburse Montrose for some of his training at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.

He has only been with the city for 2 ½ years.