Fairfield Ledger
http://fairfield-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1168949

Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 1, 2014

Heartland could move to better site

By Ed Noyes | Apr 17, 2014

To the editor:

How often does a town like Fairfield have a four lane highway bypass its city limits creating the possibility of new development at three different entry points?

Given the unique opportunity this has presented, it makes sense to seriously consider the effect of the placement of Heartland Grain at the eastern corridor of our city. Yes, this would be a form of economic development, but with only a handful of local jobs being created and with some potentially serious side effects.

Heartland purchased this land without any assurances that a T.I.F. would be granted to them. They claim they will not reconsider their decision, even though they are facing significant resistance, and the possibility of facing nuisance type lawsuits. An offer has been made to allow them to recoup their investment and certainly other locations within Jefferson County are available (such as Genève and Batavia, at the Eldon exit).

These locations offer many significant advantages to Heartland, but without sacrificing the potential future development of the eastern corridor of Fairfield.

My question to the county supervisors (and other elected officials) is why do we need, or want, to encourage Heartland to stay where they are by granting them the T.I.F.? If they are so set on this location, then let’s make them pay the property taxes in the normal fashion, so that we at least gain the benefit of the taxes. Perhaps we could offer to agree to the T.I.F. if they move to a more agreeable location within Jefferson County.

One benefit that Heartland has brought to our community is the realization of how precious the eastern corridor development opportunity is and how, if we were given the chance, we could create something truly magnificent that represents the best of our community, along with many more jobs and wealth opportunities.

 

– Ed Noyes, Fairfield

 

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