Tri States Public Radio Staff
City to Apply for Grant for Industry
Thu May 9, 2013
Burlington Special Election Set
Burlington residents will have some say in what they pay for gas and electric services.
The city council recently approved new franchise agreements with Interstate Light & Power, which is owned by Alliant Energy.
Each agreement includes a 3% franchise fee. The fees would replace a 1% local option sales tax already in place.
The city would receive all of the revenue from the franchise fees while it splits the sales tax revenue amongst participating local governments.
The process of implementing the franchise fees is on hold, though, because hundreds of citizens signed a petition supporting a public vote on the agreements.
The city council has scheduled the special election for Tuesday, August 6.
The panel would have to cut more than $500,000 from next year's budget if the agreements are voted down.
Meanwhile, Burlington will help a local company looking to expand.
The city council has agreed to apply for about $650,000 from the Iowa Economic Development Authority on behalf of CNH.
The company produces agriculture and construction equipment, in particular backhoes at its Burlington location.
CNH wants to add a new production line to the plant in the next 18 months.
The expected $16-million investment could create 40 new jobs.
City Manager Jim Ferneau says the city would not have to provide a local match if the state contributes to the project.
Election Likely August 6
Replacement for Local Option Sales Tax
Final Approval Possible in April