School/County Largest Shares
10:06 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Plan to Divide Fertilizer Money

The Lee County Board of Supervisors knows how it will divide some future revenue.

Lee County Board of Supervisors

Iowa Fertilizer Company will not have to pay property taxes on its proposed production plant near Wever for 20 years per an agreement with the county.

In return, the company will pay the county more than $16-million over the same 20 years.

The supervisors have signed off on a plan to distribute the money between the entities that would normally split the property tax revenue.

The Fort Madison School District would receive nearly 52% ($8.3-million) while the county would get 41% ($6.6-million).

The remaining $1.3-million would be split between the Lee County Assessor’s office, a local fire district, Southeastern Community College and a local cemetery board.

The 20-year payment plan will begin after the plant is assessed for the first time.

INTEREST IN SCHOOL

Lee County is not the only entity showing an interest in a vacant school in Fort Madison.

If it can be used to facilitate housing to fill our future needs with the Orascom company coming in, that might be the best use for it.

The Fort Madison School District no longer needs its former middle school with its new 4th-8th grade building up and running.

Superintendent Ken Marang said Fort Madison and Lee County have each expressed interest in the roughly 65,000 square foot building.

There is also a private developer interested in renovating the building for apartments.

Board of Supervisors Chairperson Janet Fife-LaFrenz said Lee County’s interest could give way to getting the most benefit out of the property.

“If it can be used to facilitate housing to fill our future needs with the Orascom company coming in,” said Fife-LaFrenz, “that might be the best use for it.  We will continue looking, but we just need to keep our minds open.”

Marang says the Fort Madison School Board could start the process of disposing of the former middle school early next week.

He says it costs the district about $40,000 a year to maintain the school.