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Lee County Loans $$ For Potential Jobs

Lee County, IA – Lee County hopes a financial investment now will lead to hundreds of jobs in the near future.

The Lee County Board of Supervisors has agreed to loan the Lee County Economic Development Group $150,000. The money will be used to try to entice a "start-up" company to locate in Lee County.

Supervisor Larry Kruse serves as the board's liaison to LCEDG. He says the company could create as many as 500 "green" jobs, over the next five years, in a one-trillion dollar worldwide market.

"This is seed capital for them," says Kruse, "when you are going out and trying to get investors, getting that first investor is the most difficult. Once you get that somebody on board, it is a lot easier to get the others on board."

Kruse says the $150,000 would be adequate because the company is also seeking grants and money from other funding sources. He would not release the name of the company, what it would produce, or where it would locate, citing confidentiality agreements.

Chairman Gary Folluo says the business could utilize the area's natural resources and relieve some pressure on local energy sources. He says it is time for the county to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to economic development.

Kruse says there is no time-line in place for when the company could decide on a location. He, personally, hopes it would be within the next 2-3 months.

Lee County has a special fund for economic development projects. The vote to loan the money was unanimous.

This money is separate from the funds provided to LCEDG by the county. This year, LCEDG received $240,000.