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Newscast 11.10.23: Woodbury County Board of Supervisors hires attorney to deal with LEC cost overrun issues; Mason City ethanol producer gets USDA grant to upgrade facility

A schematic of the new Woodbury County Law Enforcement Center, still in progress
Goldberg Group Architects
A schematic of the new Woodbury County Law Enforcement Center, still in progress

The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors has hired an attorney to represent the county to deal with issues related to construction delays of the Law Enforcement Center. The board has hired John A. Templar, Jr. of Whitfield and Eddy Law firm in Des Moines.

The supervisors voted Tuesday to hire Templar to represent them in recouping lost money and damages due to the delay.

The new law enforcement center project was expected to be done on Sept. 14, but 38 fire dampers were missing from the building, and that pushed the project completion date to a proposed April 9, 2024.

The added construction time is expected to nearly add $1.8 million dollars to a project that's already cost nearly $70 million.

A Mason City ethanol plant has received 2-point-2 million dollars from the U-S-D-A to expand its biofuel operations.

Golden Grain has been around since 2004, refining Iowa’s corn into ethanol. Since then, the Mason City operation has typically sold its fuel to larger brokers, but C-E-O Chad Kuhlers hopes that will change.

His plant has received 2.2 million dollars from the U-S-D-A to make it happen. Kuhlers says the money will go to equipment to process and store E85, which then can be sold cheaply to smaller vendors, and hopefully help Iowans at the pump.
"We’re hoping that it will perhaps spur the incentive for smaller retailers to pass on some of those savings to the consumer that they may not necessarily see from some of the bigger players in the markets."

Installation of the equipment is expected by mid-2024. Golden Grain currently produces about 140 million gallons of ethanol per year.
A monument honoring the five Sullivan brothers was unveiled in their hometown of Waterloo on Thursday. The sailors were killed in action during World War Two while serving aboard the same ship.

The Sullivan Brothers
The Grout Museum, Waterloo, IA
The Sullivan Brothers

The new monument sits outside the Waterloo Convention Center and their granddaughter Kelly Sullivan, a Navy veteran herself, pulled back the curtain on the four sculptures dedicated to the sailors. Sullivan says it’s a way to keep the memories of Waterloo’s veterans alive for everyone, beyond days of special recognition.

With Veterans Day on Saturday, Sullivan reflected that the Sullivan brothers’ story is a reminder that families are just as much a part of veterans’ continuing sacrifices.