Wednesday Afternoon News, January 2
Supervisors Elect Officers
(Le Mars) -- During their opening meeting for 2013, the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors voted to keep Jim Henrich of District 5 as the chairman and Don Kass was elected to serve as vice chairman.
Wells Enterprises Concludes Tax Credit Program
(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors heard from Dave Smetter of Wells' Enterprises during this morning's supervisor meeting. Smetter informed the supervisors of Wells decision to conclude a tax credit program that was created to help the local dairy industry establish jobs when the corporate offices was built. Smetter informed the supervisors that the Iowa Department of Economic Development approved a program allowing Wells to secure up to $4.4 million dollars to help attract 126 potential jobs. Wells used about $983 thousand of the tax credit money to create and retain 52 jobs.
Smetter says at the time the tax credit agreement was created it was for a ten year duration. The Wells official says with today's business climate sometimes requires fast action, and a ten-year agreement is not always viable.
Smetter says the 52 jobs that were created under the program are good paying jobs.
Supervisors Approve Bo Deans Request
(Le Mars) -- In other action by the county board of supervisors, they gave their approval and support in the form of a resolution to the Rock Island Clean Line Electric Transmission Project. That project would involve the installation of wind power electrical generation farms within northwest Iowa, although none are to be placed within Plymouth County. The supervisors unanimously approved a request from Bo Deans for their request for tax credits through the Iowa Department of Economic Development Authority. Bo Deans hopes to utilize the tax credits to expand its facilities and create eleven full-time additional jobs.
Le Mars Fire Department Issues December Report
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department has issued its monthly report for December. All told, the city fire department responded to 26 calls for December, 11 of which were fire calls, one rescue, nine investigations including vehicle accident clean us, odor investigations, and illegal burning, one mutual aid call with Hinton's Fire Department, and four requests for services. Fire chief Dave Schipper noted on his monthly report that the fire department responded to two calls nearly simultaneously on Christmas morning, and 25 of the 30 member crew left their families on Christmas morning to assist with the fire calls. Schipper is quoted as saying "he is very proud of the members of the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department."
Corn Milling Accident
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Officials say one worker has been fatally injured and one hurt in an accident at a corn wet mill in Cedar Rapids.
A statement from Archer Daniels Midland Co. says the two were found unconscious at the mill around 7 a.m. Wednesday. One of the workers died at Mercy Medical Center. The other worker was being treated at another hospital.
Their names and other details about the accident have not been released. ADM says the company has contacted the workers' families.
The accident cause is being investigated.
Tax Credits Extended For Wind and Ethanol
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The bill Congress approved Tuesday night providing tax relief for most taxpayers also helps wind energy and ethanol producers by extending tax credits designed to encourage continued development.
States like Texas, the nation's leading wind energy producer, and Iowa, the leading ethanol maker, should benefit from the incentives. Many of the credits had expired in 2012.
The bill extends to the end of the year a production tax credit for wind energy on any facility under construction before the end of 2013.
The bill also extends a $1.01-per-gallon tax credit for cellulosic ethanol made from corn plants, grasses, algae, and sources other than corn kernels. The bill allows ethanol makers to
depreciate equipment for new plants placed in service in 2013 and extends biodiesel production tax incentives for two years.
Biodiesel Production On The Rise
JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - A group that monitors the biodiesel industry in Iowa says a record has been set for production.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association says the state's biodiesel plants produced 184 million gallons in 2012. That's up from the previous 2011 record of 169 million gallons.
IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw says he expects more production in the new year after Congress reinstated the biodiesel tax incentive that had expired. He says that will be beneficial for
jobs, the environment and energy security.
The group, which represents the state's liquid renewable fuels industry, says soybean oil accounted for more than 70 percent of production. Animal fats came in second at 18 percent. Canola oil,
inedible corn oil, and used cooking oil made up the remaining 10 percent.
Public Hearing Set For New Voting Rules
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A hearing is scheduled for Thursday to allow the public to weigh in on a new rule that establishes procedures for removing voters from registration rolls if they
cannot prove citizenship.
The rule proposed by Secretary of State Matt Schultz is opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa and other civil rights groups.
They say the rule intimidates voters and claim Schultz doesn't have the authority to pass such a rule without legislative approval.
The rule was first proposed on an emergency basis before the November election but was temporarily halted by a judge after the ACLU filed a lawsuit to block it.
The judge hasn't yet issued a final ruling but Schultz now is moving forward with a permanent rule.