WATER SYSTEM EXPANDS
The recent drought has spurred Lewis and Clark Regional Water System officials to move up a planned expansion, even before it’s base system is complete. This is executive director Troy Larson.
Some of the northwest Iowa members of Lewis and Clark are not yet connected to the system, yet they’re going ahead with an expansion plan.
For some communities, Lewis and Clark is their sole water source, and they are feeling the effects of the drought.
Work on the base system, connecting, Sioux Center, Hull, Sheldon, Sibley, and Madison South Dakota will be completed by 2025, at a total cost of 700 million dollars. The expansion will cost an additional 100 million.
Several northwest Iowa families will be honored for their environmental stewardship at the Iowa State Fair next week. 40 farm families will receive the 2022 Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Awards, for their voluntary efforts to improve water quality on their farms. Among the recipients are Mark, Joel and Matt Brown of Plymouth County, Mark and Deb Rensink of Sioux County, and Paul and Julie Kassel of Clay County. The awards are presented by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Iowa sales tax revenues fell significantly in July. Legislative Services Agency spokesperson Jeff Robinson says that may be because consumer spending was so high in July of last year. Robinson says the drop could be an indicator that retail spending is returning to normal. Quarterly sales tax and income tax payments to the state were due July 31st. Robinson says the slowdown is “rooted both in charges to the state accounting process and to the unusual nature of the national economy” as it emerges from the pandemic.
RETIREMENT SAVINGS IOWA
State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald is again calling for the creation of a state-managed investment program for Iowans who don’t have a pension or retirement plan through their employer. Fitzgerald first proposed a “Retirement Savings Iowa” program in 2016, to be managed by the State Treasurer’s office, which has also managed the College Savings Iowa program since 1998. Fitzgerald says it makes sense to set up a similar program, so Iowans can set aside money for retirement without paying taxes on it. Fitzgerald made his comments at the Iowa State Fair as part of his re-election campaign. Roby Smith, a state senator from Davenport, is the Republican challenging Fitzgerald’s bid for an eleventh term.
MIKE PENCE VISITS IOWA
Former Vice President Mike Pence will make campaign stops in Iowa next week. Pence will join U-S Senator Chuck Grassley and other Iowa Republicans at the State Fair next Friday, then he will take part in a fundraiser in Cumming that evening. On Saturday Pence will appear at a Republican fundraiser in Waverly. Pence is rumored to be considering a run for the White House in 2024.
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has returned to the Iowa campaign trail to headline a fundraiser for Senator Chuck Grassley. But Christie — who ran for president in 2016 — may be back soon as a 2024 presidential candidate. He says he’s definitely thinking about it but won’t make a final decision until “the beginning part of next year.” Christie suggests that while Donald Trump may be considered the front-runner for the G-O-P’s next presidential nomination, things change quickly in politics.