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Golden Grain Energy

Golden Grain Energy has been fined for air quality violations

While Tuesday night's city council meeting is lighter than usual on agenda items, it's substantial when it comes to economic impact. 

In particular, the city council is set to hold a public hearing on whether or not to approve a multi-million development agreement with Golden Grain Energy. 

According to terms and estimates, the project itself will total some $23 million for construction and new equipment which will involve adding 10 new jobs and raising the assessed property value to $6.12 million.

Under the deal, there would be a 10-year tax rebate of 100% of incremental taxes for the first eight years and 34% for the final two, (up to a maximum of $2 million). Golden Grain would be responsible for providing 55 full-time equivalent jobs by December 2021, until termination of the contract. 

When Golden Grain inked a similar deal with Mason City in 2004, they received equivalent rebate terms but up to a maximum of $5.6 million.

At that time, to honor the terms of the agreement, Golden Grain was also responsible for providing at least 42 full-time equivalent jobs. 

That deal ended in June 2019 and Golden Grain's rebated taxes totaled $5.13 million.

As of January 2019, the ethanol manufacturer's central facility has the highest assessed value in the city at $18.91 million. 

According to a memo from Development Services Director Steven Van Steenhuyse to City Administrator Aaron Burnett, the development agreement will not have any impact on the city's operating budget.

Other matters  

The city is also looking for approval in hiring three new employees with the fire department. 

Thanks to recent grant awards, the Mason City Fire Department is able to take on new firefighter-EMT/paramedic positions. 

According to Fire Chief Erik Bullinger, a 2018 grant will cover 75% of costs for the first two years and 35% in the third. 

Along with those hires, the city's also aiming to reappoint two residents to the "Active Living & Transportation" board and approve a Class C liquor license to the Columbia Club on 551 South Taft Ave.

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Reach Reporter Jared McNett at 641-421-0527. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @TwoHeadedBoy98. 

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