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Lee County to Pass on New Organization


Lee County will not be joining a regional organization that focuses on economic development and the environment.

The county was a member of Geode RC&D (Resource, Development & Conservation) for nearly 40 years.

That membership came to an end, though, when the agency disbanded over a loss of federal funding.

The county looked into joining Fairfield, IA-based Pathfinders RC&D, which is a similar organization to Geode.

Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Ernie Schiller says that will not happen, though, because it is just not a good fit for the county.

"I think a lot of it is distance from (Pathfinders') source," says Schiller, "and the additional stress on (the) staff."

Pathfinders RC&D serves six counties in southern Iowa.

Schiller says the initial and annual membership fees also played a factor in the county's consensus.

He says there are other options available if help is needed with grants or other program administration.


The plans to expand the capacity of Lee County's jail are moving forward.

The Board of Supervisors has signed off on the contracts related to the planned addition of cells.

The cells are designated for general population female inmates and medium security male inmates.

The total cost of the project was expected to be about $480,000.

Project Manager John Hansen says the contracts reflect an $8,000 reduction, which will be set aside for contingency.

He says the needed materials have been ordered.

They should arrive in 6-8 weeks, which is when construction should get underway.

Hansen hopes to have the project completed  by January.

The male cells will be completed first so female inmates can be housed there while the additional female cells are built.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.