Lee County Approves Borrowing, Elects Chairman

Fort Madison, IA – The Board of Supervisors has officially signed off on borrowing $500,000 to build and equip the dispatch center within the Lee County Jail. The money is needed because the facility was not included in the original plan for the jail expansion and renovation.

Supervisor Larry Kruse says the dispatch center should be completed by March. He says the equipment must be ordered within the next two weeks if it is to be installed at that time.

Kruse says the timing should work out so the money is available at that time. He says the county hopes to borrow the money at an interest rate of 4%.

The county's E-911 board will pay back the money the county borrows using revenues from telephone surcharges. Kruse says the equipment will be state-of-the-art and meet future communication regulations.

Organizational Meeting

Rick Larkin is the new Chairman of the Lee County Board of Supervisors. He replaces Gary Folluo, who served as Chairman for one year.

Larkin most recently served as Vice-Chairman and has previously served as Chairman of the Lee County Board of Supervisors. Janet Fife-LaFrenz was elected to serve as Vice Chairwoman.

Larkin says his number one goal is to simply get the county through difficult economic times. The panel will start discussing next year's budget on Thursday, January 14.

Chairman Rick Larkin says the supervisors may also have to look at the current spending plan. He says a 10% cut at the state level cost Lee County about $100,000.

Larkin is hopeful the county will be able to balance both budgets without furloughs or lay-offs.