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Thu April 11, 2013

Auction Talk Spurs other Debates

The debate over whether to hold a property tax auction in Lee County has moved several other contentious issues back into the spotlight.

The Lee County Board of Supervisors
The Lee County Board of Supervisors

About 40 people attended the Lee County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, April 9.  That's about 10x the number normally in attendance.

Most of the people in the crowd were there in opposition of the board's vote on Tuesday, April 2 to hold the property tax auction in Fort Madison.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, May 11 at 9:00 A.M. at the North Lee County Office Building.

Those who spoke to the board said the auction should be held in Keokuk because almost all of the 52 properties for sale are located in Keokuk.

The turnout led the board to reconsider its vote, but nothing ended up changing as a majority of the board voted against a new location.

Supervisors Matt Pflug and Gary Folluo, both of Keokuk, changed their previous votes and supported moving the auction.

Pflug says he is disappointed because he felt it was common sense to hold the sale where the properties are located.

The issue was discussed for more than an hour during the meeting.

There were times, though, when the talk moved away from the auction and towards the consolidation of all offices in one location, such as Donnellson or Fort Madison.

Chairman Rick Larkin expects to have a lengthy debate on consolidation, but it could be one, two, or even five years down the road.

There was also talk of offering drivers licenses in Keokuk at least one day each week, since the service is only available through the Treasurer's office in Fort Madison.

The supervisors seemed receptive to the idea, but did not schedule any future meetings on the topic.