May 18, 2022

Co-Line Urban Renewal Plan passed by Supervisors

No objections heard during final resolution adoption vote

Supervisors authorized the establishment of an urban renewal area for Co-Line Manufacturing during their meeting on Jan. 4. As a result, the manufacturer will be provided tax rebates for the construction of a new facility, which could create upwards of 20 new jobs in Jasper County.

The urban renewal plan has been in the works since early 2021 when the board accepted a tax increment financing (TIF) proposal by Co-Line and JEDCO Executive Director Jeff Davidson. The proposal consisted of an agreement to build a new, 50,000-square-foot building north of Co-Line’s existing campus in Jasper County.

Although Co-Line Manufacturing’s headquarters is located in Lynnville, almost all of its production facilities lay within the borders of Mahaska County. But this new addition will reside in Jasper County, just south of Sully and near the county’s border with Mahaska.

Currently, Co-Line employs around 220 people, half of which live in Jasper County. When the new plant is complete, the company will begin producing a new product line.

Co-Line estimates the new plant could bring up to 20 new skilled jobs. And if the new product line sells well, there is a possibility of further expansion.

During last week’s meeting, the supervisors held a public hearing and were set to listen to any objections to the plan. Hearing no objections, the board voted to approve and adopt the plan.

SUPERVISORS TABLE ORDINANCE AMENDMENT

The board of supervisors held another public hearing to amend the county’s on-site wastewater treatment and disposal ordinance.

The amendment alters the language in the ordinance to state no temporary structures, including recreational vehicles and campers, shall be used as a primary dwelling on any parcel. Jasper County Auditor Dennis Parrott questioned the reason for the ordinance change.

“Why does the county care how people live on their own property?” Parrott asked.

The board agreed with Parrott’s concerns.

“Our main concern is that we want to provide housing for everyone, so banning any kind of housing warrants a discussion,” supervisor Doug Cupples said.

The board tabled the issue until the Jan. 11 meeting.

COUNTY FILLS LICENSE EXAMINER POSITION

Jasper County Human Resources Director Dennis Simon sought the board’s permission to create a new, full-time driver’s license examiner position for the treasurer’s office.

The creation of the position was proposed during the Dec. 28 supervisors meeting with the stipulation it would only last for two years initially. The position will be reviewed in December 2023 to see whether it has improved the performance of the treasurer’s office.

The supervisors on Jan. 4 approved the creation of the position.

Simon then immediately submitted a hiring resolution for Stacy Foreman-Cobbs to fill the examiner position. According to the resolution, Foreman-Cobbs will be hired full-time at the rate of $18.45/hr and will begin working on Jan. 10.

The supervisors approved Foreman-Cobbs’ hiring.

In other business, the board of supervisors:

• Approved the appointment of Deputy Todd “TJ” Decker as a deputy sheriff for the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office.

• Approved the 2022 IRS standard mileage rates for county employees.

• Appointed supervisor Brandon Talsma as the new chair of the board of supervisors. Supervisor Denny Carpenter will continue serving as vice-chair for the next year.

Contact Abby Knipfel at 641-792-4687 ext. 6531 or aknipfel@shawmedia.com

Abby Knipfel

Abby "Adler" Knipfel

Journalist at Newton Daily News. Currently covering Jasper County and writing passionate opinion pieces. They/Them