A representative of Summit Carbon Solutions will appear before the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors tomorrow. Kaylee Langrell will present information and take questions regarding their proposed carbon capture pipeline through the county. The Iowa Utilities Board has scheduled the site of a hearing on the company’s application for a permit to build the pipeline in Iowa. The hearing will be held in Webster City, but the date has not been set. The company has recently presented to the Board a list of property owners who would not agree to the purchase of right of way for the pipeline through their property. Plymouth County is one of six in Iowa where landowners have refused to sign right of way agreements. The company may ask the utilities board to approve the use of eminent domain on those properties. Plymouth County’s Supervisors have asked the utilities board to deny the use of eminent domain to obtain right of way for the pipeline.
BIRD THREATENS SUIT
Brenna Bird, the Republican candidate for Iowa Attorney General says if she’s elected in November, she’ll go to court to challenge the overreach of the federal government. As Iowa’s attorney general, Bird says she’d assign a squad of staffers to work on lawsuits challenging federal regulations that restrict Iowa farm operations or impose unwarranted public health restrictions. Bird made her comments at the Iowa State Fair on The Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox. She’s challenging Democrat Tom Miller’s bid for a tenth term as Iowa’s Attorney General. Miller says his opponent primarily sees the office as a means to sue the Biden Administration, while he views his role as serving the people of Iowa.
LOVES OPENS SOON
A new business is preparing to open in Le Mars. Love’s Travel Stops is a national brand, with some 340 locations nationwide. Jason Mains is the General Manager of the Le Mars site.
Mains says the site, across from the Wells’ Blue Bunny headquarters off US 75, will be ready for business in a couple of weeks.
The Love’s location is described by the franchise as a mid-level store.
Mains describes what Love’s Travel Stops are known for.
Mains is committed to his business and his family being involved in the community.
Coming to Le Mars is a good move for the Mains family.
Mains transferred to Le Mars from Aurora, Nebraska. He and his family are excited about being part of this community.
ORANGE CITY COUNCIL
The Orange City Council this afternoon will hold public hearings on the disposal of several parcels of city property. One parcel is a residential area adjacent to the new elementary school which is under construction. 26 residential lots are include in that parcel. Across the street from the school is another 20 acres of city property, which is to be sold to to a firm which will create the proposed Canals Development. The council will also consider a revised bid for purchase of playground equipment for the proposed Puddle Jumper Park. Another bid for the remainder of the park’s amenities will take place this fall. And the city is going to drill test wells to enhance its water supplies. An agreement with two rural landowners will be considered today by the council.
OPEN TEACHING JOBS
There are still dozens of teaching jobs open in Iowa. One expert says many schools across the state have multiple openings just weeks — or days — before the school year is set to begin. Mark McDermott is the associate dean at the University of Iowa’s College of Education. He says they routinely get calls from dozens of Iowa’s 300-plus school administrators as fall approaches, checking to see if there are any recent graduates available to fill teaching jobs. While hesitating to say most schools in the state are short on teachers, McDermott says many districts are seeking help in virtually every type of course and grade level. He also says part of the shortage may still stem from the so-called “Great Resignation” that came about during the pandemic, as many workers retired early or simply left their positions and industries to seek something new.
SALES TAX REVENUE
State sales tax revenue for the month of July fell significantly. Jeff Robinson of the Legislative Services Agency says the 101-million dollar drop may be because consumer spending was so high in July of 2021.
Quarterly sales tax AND income tax payments to the state were due July 31st. Robinson says total state tax collections for the month of July declined.
The Iowa Department of Revenue created a new account last November that initially holds all payments to the state — including state fuels taxes that must be separated and deposited in the Road Use Tax Fund. That accounting change makes month-to-month comparisons difficult until taxes are separated into categories.
FARM ECONOMY FACES UNCERTAINTY
Iowa Agriculture Secretary, Mike Naig, says the drought continues to be an issue as the state’s crops head into the final stages before harvest. He points out that a lot of things that can happen through the end of August and into fall that can “make or break” a crop, but it depends in part on whether growers see any significant rainfall. Still, Naig says commodity prices have been strong and they expect pretty good yields across the state. Other than rain, he says the big caveat is the price of “everything” — namely fuel and fertilizer — along with continued supply chain disruptions.
CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH
Diedre DeJear, the Democratic candidate for governor, says some of the state’s surplus should be directed to improve Iowa’s mental health care system and other priorities. She told a crowd of people at the Iowa State Fair’s Political Soapbox that one-point-five billion dollars is sitting in the state’s “Rainy Day” fund — and it’s currently raining “on mental health care, on education, on health care, (and) on child care.”