The Iowa Transportation Commission today approved economic development grants for Cherokee County and the city of Independence. The Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy or "RISE" grants will help improve roadways to two businesses with the promise of new jobs.
Stuart Anderson of the Iowa Department of Transportation says Cherokee County was awarded a grant for the road improvements at a site on the east side of Marcus. Anderson says the road improvements are necessary to provide access to a proposed site for a 15-million gallon per year biodiesel facility proposed by Soy Energy L.L.C.
The grant of up to $144,000 was awarded on the promise of the creation of 24 jobs within two years of the project’s completion. Anderson says this project is a little unusual as it has stopped and restarted. He says they started doing work for the biodiesel facility in 2007, but the company suspended work on the plant as it looked at changing its technology.
Now the company is planning to more ahead with a new technology it hopes will allow them to process the biodiesel fuel more efficiently. The commission approved a grant of up to $282,000 for Independence to build a roadway.
The roadway improvements will provide access to the site of the Monsanto Company’s proposed seed corn processing facility, with the project promising the creation of 47 new jobs within two years. The company plans on investing 103-million dollars in the new plant.