County Supervisors To Accept Sealed Bids For RCF Property
(Le Mars) — During their Tuesday meeting, the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors discussed the options available regarding the sale of the Resident Care Facility located on the east edge of Le Mars. You may recall, the county governing board held a public auction for the property a few weeks
back, but received only one bid of $110,000 which the supervisors deemed as being too low to sell the property. Since the date of the auction, the supervisors have received other parties that have indicated an interest in obtaining the property that is currently leased by Pride Group. The supervisors agreed to establish a minimum bid of $300,000 for the building
and grounds. The county supervisors then took the action to accept sealed bids for the property. Potential bidders will have until Tuesday, March 16th at 9:00 a.m. to submit their sealed bid to Plymouth County Auditor, Stacey Feldman. The county governing board has indicated the bids will be revealed
at 10:00 a.m. Supervisor Mike Van Otterloo suggested the bidders may want to attend the County Supervisor meeting on March 16th in case there is a tie with multiple entities submitting the same bid. If that should be the case, the supervisors would then conduct an auction with the bidders that are present. Don Kass serves as the chairman of the Plymouth County Board of
Supervisors and explains the process.
Kass says the county board has made the stipulation Pride Group would be allowed to continue to lease the facilities for a maximum duration of up to two years.
Supervisors Approve Resolution To Increase Maximum Property Taxes
(Le Mars) — Rural residents of Plymouth County may see a slight increase to their property taxes as the County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution on Tuesday. That resolution calls for an increase in the maximum property tax dollars for General County Services and Rural County Services. The supervisors approved an increase of one percent for the General County
Services for fiscal year 2021-2022, and a two percent increase in the Rural County Services. The amount shall not exceed $6,677,915 for the General County Services, and $4,439,729 for the Rural County Services. During the public hearing, there were no oral comments submitted, and County Auditor Stacey Feldman informed the supervisors the county did not receive any
written statements with regards to the proposed increase.
Vilsack Confirmed By U-S Senate To Lead The U-S Department Of Agriculture
(Washington) — Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack has been approved by the U-S Senate to be confirmed as the U-S Department of Agriculture Secretary.
Vilsack held the post previously for eight years under the Obama
Administration. The vote was 92-7. Iowa Senators Republican Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst both voted in favor of Vilsack. Ernst says, “Tom Vilsack is no stranger to the needs of Iowa and our agriculture community, and there’s no doubt he’s qualified for the job. As I said during his confirmation hearing, Secretary Vilsack must be a strong and loud advocate for Iowa farmers, the biofuel community, and rural America as a whole when helping create and implement the new administration’s agenda. If Secretary Vilsack decides to give into the liberal left – their policies that would hurt animal agriculture and devastate our biofuel industry and the Renewable Fuels Standard – Iowans will remember. I expect Secretary Vilsack to do the right
thing for farm country, and I will certainly hold him to that.”
Naig And Iowa Soybean Association Praise Vilsack As USDA Secretary
(Des Moines) — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, and the Iowa Soybean Association are among those that are praising the U-S Senate for the confirmation of former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack as the USDA Secretary. In a statement, Naig says, “Having an Iowan at the helm of USDA is positive for our state’s agriculture community. Secretary Vilsack will be able to hit the
ground running given his previous experience as agriculture secretary, and being a former Governor, he understands the partnership between states and the federal government. I look forward to working alongside Secretary Vilsack to continue to grow demand for renewable fuels, prevent foreign animal
diseases, advance water quality and soil health, promote international trade and support investments in rural America.” The Iowa Soybean Association sent a news release that says, “The U.S. Senate’s approval of Tom Vilsack to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) bodes well for Iowa soybean
“The former Iowa governor’s return to USDA gives Iowa farmers and rural communities a strong tie to the nation’s capital and voice in the future of farm policy.
“Serving as a steady and reasoned advocate during the eight years he previously served as Ag Secretary, the former Mt. Pleasant Mayor’s approval comes at an important time for U.S. agriculture and Iowa farmers. Building domestic and international demand for U.S. soy, promoting open, fair and
competitive trade, and recognizing the leadership role that Iowa farmers play in improving air and water quality will all be center-of-the-plate.”
“We look forward to engaging USDA on issues that are critical to the long-term success of the soybean industry.
Election Bill Passes Iowa Senate
(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Senate has passed legislation to reduce the early voting period in Iowa by nine days and move up the deadline for getting absentee ballots to a county auditor’s office. The bill also calls for the polls on Election Day to close at 8:00 p-m — which is one hour earlier than they now close. Republican Senator Jim Carlin of Sioux City, who announced
last week he’ll run for the U-S Senate in 2022, says Donald Trump’s loss is the reason the bill’s on the fast track at the statehouse. Carlin says “millions and millions and millions believe there was fraud in the election.”
Senator Claire Celsi, a Democrat from Des Moines, says the bill is
unnecessary and perpetuates “the big lie that the election was not legitimate and Iowa is compelled to fix non-existent problems.” All the Democrats in the Senate voted against the bill.
Governor Signs School Funding Bills
(Des Moines, IA) — Governor Kim Reynolds has signed bills into law that outline the G-O-P’s main school spending plans for the next academic year.
Iowa’s pre-K through 12 public schools will get a two-point-four percent increase in general per-pupil spending. Senator Amy Sinclair, a Republican from Allerton, says that’s 179 more dollars for every child enrolled in Iowa schools today. Democrats say the state has a significant budget surplus and could afford to spend more on schools. The per-pupil spending calculation is
based on this fall’s enrollment, which declined during the pandemic. The package the governor approved Tuesday provides an additional 27-million dollars that will be split among districts to deal with pandemic-related costs. The package also provides more money for transportation expenses, to help geographically large rural districts cover the cost of long bus routes.
Grassley Applauds Ruling On RFS
(Washington, DC) — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is applauding the U-S Environmental Protection Agency’s change in position on a 2020 court ruling on the Renewable Fuel Standard. The E-P-A now says it supports a federal appellate court’s ruling that it overreached in granting three waivers to small refineries. These waivers excuse them from blending biofuels into their
gasoline. The court’s ruling means fewer waivers could be granted going forward. Grassley says it’s a step in the right direction and will provide some certainty for Iowa farmers and biofuel producers regarding the use of the waivers.
Man Shot After Cedar Rapids Stabbing Dies
(Cedar Rapids, IA) — A man shot by a Cedar Rapids police officer as he left the scene of a fatal stabbing Saturday has died. Police responded to the Rodeway Inn in southwest Cedar Rapids and found two women with stab wounds.
An officer chased 39-year-old Arnell States as he tried to run from the scene, and then shot him. One of the women, 34-year-old Katrina Latrese Brinson of Cedar Rapids, died from stab wounds. The other woman was treated and released.