Miller-Meeks announces funding for area projects

LCHD/EMS bay project secures $2.1 million

The former Meller property where the Iowan Motor Lodge used to stand could soon be the site of the new Meller-Lee County Health Department/EMS Ambulance bay.
The former Meller property where the Iowan Motor Lodge used to stand could soon be the site of the new Meller-Lee County Health Department/EMS Ambulance bay.
PCC File Photo

LEE COUNTY – Lee County Supervisors got a bit of good news Thursday afternoon with Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks issuing a press release indicating additional funding for Lee County’s proposed Health Department and EMS bay project.
Miller-Meeks' office released a statement indicating funding had been secured for 15 projects in the 1st Congressional District totaling more than $28 million for her district in federal funding.
“I am extremely proud that the House passed a bipartisan funding bill that includes 15 community projects that will greatly impact Iowa’s First Congressional District,” she said.
“These initiatives range from investing in scientific and technical capabilities for future NASA missions, rebuilding our aging infrastructure in the state, and improving our wastewater facilities.
“Thank you to the countless local leaders for advocating for future investments in our community.”
The funding also provides $1.75 million for the City of Fort Madison for its work on separating the city’s combined waste and stormwater sewers, which is a federal EPA mandate. That funding release was put out about two months ago, but wasn’t actually secured until Thursday.
Lee County has been developing plans and funding streams for the new Health Department and EMS Ambulance Bay for the past two years and hit a snag when they went to issue bonds for up to $6 million to trigger $3.6 million in federal and state assistance.
Currently, the county has secured a $974,000 Emergency Rural Health Care grant from the USDA and a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant. They also have a $1 million ARPA set aside for the project, and an initial commitment of $500,000 from the North Lee County Community Foundation for a total of $3,074,000. With Miller-Meeks announcement, that total now increases to $5,174,000.
Supervisor Chuck Holmes, who sits on the community foundation board, said additional funds are projected from the foundation once the project is underway.
The county also has authority to bond up to $975,000 without voter approval under the new property tax law.
The project also includes the value of land donated by the Glen Meller family to the county to be used for public good. The project will also carry the Meller family name on the building.
USDA officials have indicated that program funding package could now be enough to start to authorize the project to be put out for bids, without requiring the county to bond to show borrowing authority to finish the project in its entirety.
However, supervisor Chairman Garry Seyb is still being cautious as the appropriation has not yet been signed by President Joe Biden.
“I am very excited and appreciative of Congresswoman Miller-Meeks' community funding coming through to support the LCHD/EMS building,” Seyb said.
“I believe it is now up to the Lee County Board of Supervisors to secure the additional $800,000 in funding to make this project a reality. It is my intent that we move ahead with this project, keeping the Lee County taxpayers and interested groups like Lee County Farm Bureau, apprised of all funding mechanisms."
Farm Bureau board members executed a successful petition against the county borrowing the $6 million construction bond without voter input. Supervisors on Monday halted the bond effort as a result of the petition.  The petition would have required that supervisors put the borrowing in front of voters in November’s general election.
The complete list of agencies receiving funding under the program is listed below.
1. $2 million for the City of Mediapolis Wastewater Improvement Project.
2. $2.1 million for the Lee County EMS Bay Improvement Project. 
3. $1.5 million for the University of Iowa Space Technology Innovation and Education Project. 
4. $1.75 million for the City of Fort Madison Combined Sewer Separation Project.
5. $1 million for the City of Winfield Wastewater Improvement Project.
6. $1 million for the City of Morning Sun Wastewater Improvement Project.
7. $2 million for the Southeast Iowa Regional Airport (BRL) Airport Entrance Road Reconstruction Project.
8. $2.5 million for the Jefferson County Fairfield and Libertyville Loop Improvement Project.
9. $3 million for the City of LeClaire Wisconsin Street Reconstruction Project.
10. $2 million for the City of Wilton 5th Street Gateway Improvement Project.
11. $2 million for the Warren County Highway G76 HMA Resurfacing Project.
12. $3.4 million for the City of DeWitt East Industrial Street Extension Project.
13. $2 million for the North Scott Community School District Regional Innovation Center Project.
14. $1.08 million for the City of Oskaloosa Wastewater Improvement Project.
15. $1 million for the City of Pella University Street Extension Project.

Lee County, Fort Madison, Glen Meller, Lee County Health Department, Lee County EMS Ambulance, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, appropriation, funding, project, Pen City Current, Garry Seyb


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