Port Vote Delayed Again

Fort Madison, IA – Lee County is still not ready to support the construction of a port facility in Quincy.

For the second week in a row, the Board of Supervisors has tabled a resolution of support for the Mid-America Port Commission's plan to seek $50-million for the project. The funds would come from the federal economic stimulus bill.

The county's resolution urges Iowa's United States Congressional Delegation and Iowa's U.S. Senators support the port project for any eligible federal funding opportunities. The MAPC has already applied for the funding and is currently seeking support from member counties.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Gary Folluo says there are still concerns about how the proposal will impact the future of the Southeast Iowa Regional Economic and Port Authority. The organization offered an amendment to the county's resolution.

SIREPA says the county should only support the project if MAPC guarantees no adverse economic consequences for businesses in Southeast Iowa. It would also like guaranteed seats at the foreign trade zone board of directors.

Folluo says representatives of each authority need to come together and develop a regionally-focused resolution that the two sides are comfortable with. The supervisors have pushed their Tuesday, Nov. 17 meeting back to Friday, Nov. 20 to allow time for the talks to take place.

Port Appointment

The Lee County Board of Supervisors has appointed Steve Price of Keokuk to serve on the Board of Directors of the Southeast Iowa Regional Economic and Port Authority. Price replaces George Morgan, who stepped down several weeks ago.

Price works as a business agent with the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 125 out of Cedar Rapids. He also serves on the Regional Workforce Investment Board for Southeast Iowa.

Supervisors Rick Larkin and Janet Fife-LaFrenz each touted their work with Price on that panel as reasons why he should serve on the authority's Board of Directors.

Supervisor Larry Kruse voted against the appointment, saying Price appeared to be the least qualified of the five applicants.

Price's term expires next May.


Lee County is moving forward with security improvements at several county buildings. New security systems will be installed at the county office building in Fort Madison, the D-H-S office in Keokuk, and the North and South Lee County Courthouses.

Each system will include a fire alarm and wireless panic buttons. Maintenance Director Rick Carter says the systems are upgradeable and should be up and running in a matter of weeks.

The total price tag is around $10,000.