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Lee County

Lee County is looking for some significant changes in employee benefits in its next contract with the union representing employees in the Sheriff's Office.

A six-figure verdict against Lee County in a wrongful termination lawsuit has been overturned.

Lee County’s latest audit reveals a few activities the state wants the county to resolve.

It appears recruiting local government is the next step for a workforce program in Iowa.

The latest chapters of a lawsuit against Lee County could be resolved this summer.

Lee County Adopts No Tobacco Policy

Dec 20, 2012

The Lee County Board of Supervisors has added “No Tobacco” language to its personnel policy.

Building Fundraising Continues

Nov 27, 2012

Two Lee County departments have a ways to go to reach an important fundraising goal.

Unemployment Up in Lee County

Nov 20, 2012

The latest numbers from Iowa Workforce Development show why many in Lee County support the construction of a new fertilizer plant near Wever.

78% Turnout in Lee County

Nov 16, 2012

Lee County finalized the results for the November 6th election this week and Auditor-Elect Denise Fraise says the 78% turnout was the highest Lee County has seen in the last quarter century.

Late Results in Lee County

Nov 8, 2012

High turnout in several Lee County precincts led to a much longer night for election workers.

FM Complex Requires More Money

Nov 5, 2012

The effort to build a multi-sport complex in Fort Madison is getting some help with some unanticipated expenses.

Election Day is less than three weeks away, but there will be no rush to the polls for thousands of Lee County residents.

Lee County now knows some of the concerns residents have about the production plant Iowa Fertilizer Company plans to build near Wever.

Lori Beckert lives between Wever and Fort Madison.  She attended the Lee County Board of Supervisors meeting on Oct. 2 for one reason.

Beckert asked the board for a special meeting in Wever about the fertilizer plant so residents and future neighbors can get answers to their questions.

The supervisors said they wanted to see a list of questions/topics for the meeting before they would set a time/date/location.

Some Lee County residents want answers about the $1.4-billion fertilizer plant scheduled to be built near Wever by 2015.

Southeast Iowa voters who do not want to wait for Election Day have started casting their ballots.  There are no restrictions on who can vote early.

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 (IFC) will build a $1.4-billion nitrogen fertilizer production plant on 500-acres of land near Wever in northern Lee County.

The site offers rail, river and highway access and is located near a natural gas line, which is essential to the plant's operation.

The project will create 165 full-time, permanent jobs and several thousand temporary construction jobs.

During a news conference in Des Moines on Wednesday, Governor Terry Branstad says this will be a much-needed shot in the arm for Iowa, and Lee County in particular.

It could cost Lee County much more than anticipated to repair a well-traveled road.

A stretch of River Road, between Keokuk and Montrose, had to be closed in June 2010 because of a landslide.

County Engineer Ernie Steffensmeier says the lowest of three bids for a permanent stabilization plan came in at just over $1-million.

He believes the bids are accurate based on the fact that all three are within 10% of each other.

Steffensmeier told the Board of Supervisors, earlier this week, the original estimate for the project was around $540,000.

The Lee County Board of Supervisors hopes a simple gesture will kick-off a successful fundraising campaign for two county departments.

The Health and Conservation Departments would like to build a shared facility along Highway 61 near the current Conservation Office.

The building could cost more than $4-million, which is much more than the county can afford at this point.

Supporters say people, businesses and organizations have not been willing to donate money without knowing whether the county would support the project.

The Lee County Board of Supervisors is ready to become the latest governmental board to conduct paperless meetings.

County Auditor Anne Pedersen brought up the idea of paperless meetings during the board's most recent workshop.

The board meets at least 4 times each month.  Pedersen says it takes a lot of time, paper, and ink to print documents for each of the five supervisors for each meeting.

The supervisors supported Pedersen’s recommendation to purchase electronic readers.

Lee County has decided to help one of its unincorporated communities with a proposed sewer project.

The Board of Supervisors has entered into a new 28-E agreement with Regional Utility Service Systems (RUSS). 

RUSS is an organization based in Mount Pleasant that helps rural communities secure state and/or federal money for sewer projects.

Supervisor Ernie Schiller says this agreement will allow RUSS to start the preliminary engineering work for a potential sanitary sewer system in the Mooar/Powdertown area north of Keokuk.

Lee County will be able to take advantage of newer technology when it comes to sending alerts about emergencies or disasters.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the Keokuk and Fort Madison Police Departments have utilized CodeRED for several years.

The system can send a pre-recorded message to hundreds of telephone numbers in seconds.

Sheriff Jim Sholl says CodeRED is being replaced by a new system called DeltAlert.

He says DeltAlert offers more minutes for the same price and some important new features like sending the messages as emails or texts.

Lee County’s Conservation Department is getting an employment boost.

The Board of Supervisors has authorized the department to promote its part-time assistant naturalist to full-time status.

The department’s oversight board had already signed off on the promotion.

Board of Supervisors Chairperson Janet Fife-LaFrenz says this will help the department in several ways, in particular through educational programs and tourism opportunities.

Scott County and the company that wants to bring a $1.5 billion fertilizer plant to the Quad-Cities have had preliminary talks about incentives although the project still faces several hurdles.

Lee County wants to make sure its residents are informed of new large-scale farming operations.

The Iowa DNR requires Lee County publish a public notice in a confinement with more than 2,500 hogs is being built within the county.

If a confinement has fewer than 2,500 hogs, the county simply accepts its Manure Management plan and takes no other action.

The Board of Supervisors is changing that process.

Chairperson Janet Fife-LaFrenz says the county will still accept the plan.

The Lee County Board of Supervisors is touting the benefits of a controversial decision.

There are plenty of residents, especially in Keokuk, who oppose the board’s decision to reorganize four county departments one year ago.

The offices of the Auditor and Treasurer are now located in Fort Madison while the Assessor and Recorder are in Keokuk.

The opposition is primarily linked to the lack of a drivers’ license facility in Keokuk.

The supervisors say the reorganization is paying off for the county.

Volunteerism and civic involvement are crucial to a community’s success.

It’s becoming more difficult to find people who are willing to serve, though, as personal and/or professional schedules fill up.

A new partnership in Lee County will try to showcase the benefits of service and train future community leaders.

The Keokuk and Fort Madison Area Chambers of Commerce are working with Iowa State University Extension on L.E.E.  The acronym stands for Leadership Education & Excellence.

Some Lee County residents could soon pay more for sewer services.

The Board of Supervisors has signed off on a new monthly fee for households or businesses connected to Argyle’s sanitary sewer system.

The supervisors acted in their capacity as trustees for the unincorporated community’s sewer district.

The new flat fee has been set at just under $56/month.  It is expected to take effect within the next few weeks.

Sewer bills in Argyle were previously calculated based on the amount of water used by a property owner.  The average bill was less than $45/month.

The state of Iowa is recommending the Lee County Narcotics Task Force change some of its operating practices.

The recommendations are based on a report, released this week, by State Auditor David Vaudt.

The report was requested by the board that oversees the task force.

The most significant finding is the task force is carrying a $90,000 deficit from the time period of July 1, 2010 - May 31, 2012.

Lee County wants to make sure its residents are aware of new farm operations that can be considered controversial at times.

The Board of Supervisors has stayed out of the discussion about hog confinements in the past. 

Lee County has been one of the few counties in Iowa to reject the state DNR’s Master Matrix, which is a scoring system for such facilities.  It has also avoided making a ruling on permits because the DNR has the final say.

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