This coming summer EDP Renewables will be constructing the Turtle Creek wind farm. This windfarm will substantially increase the taxable base here in Mitchell County. Scores of temporary jobs will be coming to the county.

Fifteen permanent jobs will be coming to Osage with the construction of the corn stover plant named Stover Ventures.

It is rumored there may be another expansion in the wind bringing an additional 30 jobs to the area. More on this when and if plans are finalized.

Valent Bio-Sciences is making, in my opinion, positive headway on odor control. I also understand Valent also has plans on the draft board for some expansion in the next few years, again good news for our business districts and our school systems.

Again, Mitchell County has the fourth lowest unemployment in Iowa this past December at 1.8 percent with Story at 1.5 percent while Lyon and Adams Counties came in at 1.7 percent.

With scores of additional permanent jobs coming to Mitchell County, housing will be the No. 1 priority of the Board of Supervisors (BOS) this coming year. Your BOS has been working on housing incentives utilizing Tax Increment Finance (TIF) dollars. We hope to have the initial program in place sometime in March of this year. Full details of this program will be announced in the next few weeks.

Conservation Director Adam Shirley is ready to implement plans for a full makeover of Riverside Park in Stacyville. This makeover should greatly improve usage.

County Engineer Rich Brumm will be receiving a grant allowing Secondary Roads to purchase a new excavator and a new dump truck. Secondary Roads will continue to utilize the present excavator until it no longer has useful life. Part of the plan for the new excavator is to do road upgrades, thus minimizing snow hazards so to make travel safer in the winter months.

Deputy Auditor Barb Baldwin projects an ending balance for Mitchell County to be at over $4 million. Deputy Auditor Baldwin foresees no negatives on the horizon. Four million plus is a healthy balance.

I am proud to announce the State of Mitchell County has been and is in very good shape. Mitchell County is the envy of many surrounding counties.