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Is IC Systems set to close?

This news story was published on December 4, 2012.
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MASON CITY – has received multiple reports today that the IC Systems bill collection / call center will begin a series of layoffs and then close its doors on July 31st, 2013.

Calls to IC Systems were not answered this afternoon, so the information could not be verified.  NIT was also told that recently two high-ranking local managers were let go from their positions with the company.

If anyone has information on this developing story, please leave your comments below or email at

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64 Responses to Is IC Systems set to close?

  1. MrsS Reply Report comment

    December 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    So the city gives harley money & they employ less than 25 ppl, then chases after IC for their repayment when they employ hundreds of ppl at better wages than Harley? Really? Harley is the one that needs to go. IC provided a better paycheck, insurance & better community profit by being here. Sad to see them go.

    • Katie Reply Report comment

      December 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm

      But do we really know if I.C. System would have made it with or without an extension? As I said, there are a lot of nillionaires out there now who won’t pay no matter how hard you hound them. If you can’t collect from people, you make no money, and you can’t stay open.

  2. blog Reply Report comment

    December 11, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Actually better observer I think you missed the point of opening the door to any company looking at MC and saying don’t worry about any contract with them. The Mayor and yes men council will be in your pocket and we can stick the citizens with any dollar amount we want because SIGNED AGREEMENTS MEAN NOTHING. I praise the members of the past council who had the nads to stand up for the people flipping the bill and say you had enough time so pay up. Any of you remember the aluminum door manufacturer that folded and stuck us with the bill.

  3. blog Reply Report comment

    December 11, 2012 at 11:49 am

    The big question now is since they have completely failed to live up to their tax payer funded agreement will this council have the nads to get a refund on the rest of the money. My guess is since they donated to the fat mans election probably not. Also in the original Harley drawings they showed the two buildings being connected increasing the square footage but they only put on small addition with the bulk of the money going to a face lift. Will this tax payer fund be adjusted.

  4. as seen from here Reply Report comment

    December 10, 2012 at 8:35 am

    When we moved to a different state our new home town had a population of around 28,000 as did Mason City. Today, our population is 60,000 plus and growing in new homes, businesses and beauty. We are a republican city, state. How’s “progressive” Mason City doing? You “savior” Obama taking any incentive businesses or people that happen to become wealthy starting to sink in yet? I doubt it, and that’ll be proven when we read the comments on my statement here shortly! Mason City aka Lil’ Detroit.

  5. Observer Reply Report comment

    December 7, 2012 at 9:09 am

    “I can tell you that the word on the inside is that ownership felt screwed over, and from everything I can see, they certainly did.”

    Alright, some notes on this agreement.

    On page 4 there is this definition: “Economic Development Grants mean the Tax Increment payments
    to be made by the City to the Employer under Article VIII of this agreement.”

    Payment to Employer (defined as IC Systems).

    Next, I point out Article II, section 2.2 (e) “The Employer would not undertake it’s obligations under this Agreement without the payment by the City of the Economic Development Grants being made to the employer pursuant to this Agreement”

    Notice the term “payments”. This means funds from the City.

    Look then to Article VI, section 6.6. The operative terms in that section are “…the City, at it’s discretion…” And finally, the verbiage mentions “……The City agrees not to unreasonably
    withhold such extensions.”.

    To me, this says the City has such right to terminate if the Agreement has not been fulfilled.

    Then in Article VIII Section 8.1(a), we see that there is no mention of any bond, but a grant to the Employer for $370,000. In Section 8.2, the source of the Grant funds are defined. Notice that the full faith and credit not of IC Systems, but of the taxpayers of Mason City (City) are the ones who provided these funds.

    Why the Council decided to terminate the process I cannot precisely document. Plainly, there was a failure of the Employer in this case not to live up to their end of the bargain. Additionally there was a discrimination case which was adjudged for the complainant (according to the Agreement, that sort of activity was prohibited).

    So legally, the City was well within the bounds of the Agreement in not extending the term.

    • Better Observer Reply Report comment

      December 10, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      Observer, I fear that you’ve missed the point. None of use have argued that the city has acted outside of its’ legal right. This contract left a lot to interpretation. The fact remained that our council at that time decided to back out of this without even meeting with the company to go over the situation. Regardless of how you personally feel about the wisdom of creating such deals, or about Ic System as a company, I think that everyone agrees that the leaders of this community needed to do their homework. This unfortunately never happened. Instead, this particular deal has become a benchmark for what companies can expect from this community. You better believe that any company willing to invest in new operations in Mason City will do a lengthy investigation on the business climate. IC System was too big of an employer not to be noticed. The bigger question is why people fail to recognize how this community is viewed from the outside. It seems like everyday someone posts an open-ended question about why we can’t be as successful as some of the small surrounding communities at attracting job creation. It’s not that hard of a mystery to solve people.

  6. a citizen Reply Report comment

    December 6, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    People, IC Systems is going to close. Quit complaining, deal with it, and move on. And Katie, let’s try to keep on target. You have a tendency to go off on a tangent(s).

    • 50 miles south Reply Report comment

      December 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      likes your comment.

      • a citizen Reply Report comment

        December 7, 2012 at 11:02 am

        Thank you. All criticisms/compliments gratefully accepted and appreciated.

    • Katie Reply Report comment

      December 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm

      I was responding to 50 Miles South about all the negativity on NIT scaring new business away from MC. Maybe his comment was off on a tangent. I think Anonymous, who worked at I. C. System, echos 50’s sentiments.

  7. Bring back the Dumb Phone Reply Report comment

    December 6, 2012 at 10:12 am

    How many employees will lose their jobs?
    How much did they cumulatively pay in taxes?
    How much of their net earnings were re-circulated into local businesses?
    How many will need to go on unemployment assistance?
    How much does that unemployment cost us all?
    What will the ripple effect be on their families?
    How many available jobs are there in the Mason City area?
    Who will supplement the lost revenue and added costs resulting from businesses that move elsewhere?
    ELSEWHERE is really the key.
    RELOCATION is the end result.
    Vote to relocate the fools who can’t see the big picture or do nothing and contribute to the MILLIONS of empty commercial square footage in the area.

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      December 6, 2012 at 10:29 am

      These would have been great questions at this week’s 14 minute city council meeting.

  8. Mr. Foad Reply Report comment

    December 6, 2012 at 6:57 am

    IC Systems is typical of larger companies. They are whores who will go wherever they are offered a better deal. Don’t fault them for it, it is management’s job to maximize the bottom line. The bottom line is that someone else offered a better deal than Mason City did. Should the City have offered more money in order to keep them? Everyone will have their view on that, but why cry over spilt milk because it won’t do any good. Unless we expect the City to go running to IC Systems with it’s checkbook open.
    If the City wants to create job growth, then they need to invest in Local people who have their roots here. Those people won’t just get up and leave when times get lean. Those are the people to invest in, not companies who will leave in a heartbeat when someone else opens their wallets a little farther.

    • as seen from here Reply Report comment

      December 10, 2012 at 11:00 am

      Your loss not theirs. How bad do things have to get before you open your eyes,if ever. Typical lib demorat, get your way with no concessions! The only thing attracting people to Mason City is the ease of getting on welfare, or most of the US, for that matter!

  9. MC Resident Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Anyone with any knowledge of this subject clearly understands that I.C System didn’t “screw” the city of Mason City nor did the city do a thing for the company. People are missing the point. It’s terrible to lose any company is this dying city. It’s terrible to see ANYONE lose their job and especially around this time of year. And it’s terrible this city does nothing to retain or bring in new business. My family experienced this a few years back when Holcim left so I can feel the pain of those about to lose employment. I wish all of these people the best of luck and my thoughts are with them during this difficult time.

  10. Better Yet Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Better Observer got it right, look up the agreement. The city screwed I.C. plain and simple. The extension should not have been denied. They added well over half the promised jobs in 5 years so were ahead of schedule. The company added good paying jobs and the city slapped them in the face. It’s not wonder, they are consolidating jobs into ND, WI and MN where they are appreciated. I pray for the well being of their IA employees. Many are going to have to take huge pay cuts if they stay in the area.

    Oh yeah, the city didn’t ever pay out out penny to the company. They sold a bond, paid for by a local bank to forward funds to I.C. to grow. When I.C. paid back every penny, the money went to payoff the bond. Again, not one red cent of city money in or out. It’s TIF, stupid. All you negative nellies that think this is about tax payer money, you don’t understand.

    All Max, Don and what’s his name did is lose more jobs. Thanks for nothing, fella’s.

    • anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 5, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      If no taxpayer money was used then why didn’t they just go to the bank and get it for themselves? You don’t know what you’re talking about. This same time two years ago they let some of their higher paid employees go that had been very good workers for many years. They don’t care about anything but the bottom line. Laying off good people right before Christmas to save a few bucks and breaking contracts that is no way to run a business.

      • Better Yet Reply Report comment

        December 6, 2012 at 6:47 am

        I do know what I am talking about. Not one Penny of taxpayer money was used. Again it was TIF, The money was an advance not an gift. It’s public info look it up. I.C. had an annual payment of $50,000 to pay off the money they were advance. The money came from a bond help by First Citizens Bank. The annual payment paid by I.C. went to pay back the bank. The ironic thing, when the City unreasonably withheld the extenstion requiring I.C. to pay back the balance early, the money couldn’t payoff the bond early so it had to just sit there and make the annaul payments like originally required. Again, the city did not for it’s tax payers but devalue an employer that invested heavily (100 fold over what the benefit of the TIF). Not do you get it?

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        December 6, 2012 at 8:51 am

        @anonymous-I have said it before but here it is again. Every year around Christmas you will hear that some company’s have laid off or fired people and they will usualy make some excuse such as economy or lack of business. In truth the reason they cut people is it is the fastest way to drive money to the bottom line because it is the 4th quarter of the year and to make sure the top management in the company get their bonus for the year. Do not let them fool you, it is all about the money and to hell with the people laid off.

      • Scott Reply Report comment

        December 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm

        What some seem to not realize, is that IC has not laid off a lot of people before the holidays or to help their “4th quarter”. What they have done is to announce a closing to take place by July of NEXT YEAR so everyone can work together to make the transition orderly and hopefully have as many people transition to new jobs as possible.

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        December 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm

        @scott-I did say say anything about IC Systems laying off anyone. What I said was a general statement about why businnesses lay off in the fourth quarter. I really have very little knowledge about IC Systems other than rumors I have heard over the years.

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        December 6, 2012 at 2:42 pm

        @scott-damn typo’s-I mean “didn’t” say of course.

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        December 7, 2012 at 10:18 am

        @really anonymous-Doesn’t that amount to the same thing. A loss of “Tax” money. It doesn’t matter if we gave them money or a rebate, it is still lost revenue for the city taxpayers. Did I get it right or not??

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 6, 2012 at 8:58 am

      Better yet: What do you think the T in TIF stands for?

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        December 6, 2012 at 9:44 am

        @anonymous-I am not exactly sure what you mean here but the “T” stands for Tax, the “I” I believe is Incremental and the “F” is Financing. I am not sure what that has to do with what company’s do to make their bonus plan for top management. Now I will say that Tax means you and I have to pay for their schemes. It is NOT free money like some of our council members think. I have heard over the years that I.C. was not a good place to work but do not have first hand knowledge of that. I am sure that Jeff, Don and Max had good reason for what they did. I know all three men and they wouldn’t have done what they did without a good reason.

      • really anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 6, 2012 at 2:43 pm

        lvs–while the “t” does stand for tax. it doesnt necisarily mean YOU have to pay it. Just like the “T” in hotel/motel tax–YOU dont pay it–the visitors and hotel guests pay it. in this case(TIF) the “t” is a tax rebate that takes a portion of the tax increment that IC systems created when they built their building and rebates it back to them. if they didnt build their building the tax revenue wouldnt exist.

    • really anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 8, 2012 at 12:00 pm

      lvs–this is the way tif is supposed to work–just an example-not real numbers and not specific to ic systems-just a generalization. Company “A” says to city -we will build a 2 million dollar building in your town on a piece of blighted or vacant property that currently pays $3000 per year in property taxes. after the 2 million dollar project is completed the property will generate $75,000 per year in tax revenue. which represents a $72,000 tax increment(75k-3k). Company “A” says it will only proceed with building the project if city will give them back a portion of the nex tax that the project creates and negotiates a 50k per year for 10 years rebate(500k). so for 10 years the city pays the 50k and the remaining 25k goes to the city(250k over the 10 years). after 10 years all 75k goes straight to the city. if cities arent willing to offer this kind of a deal companies will go elsewhere. so before you get wound up that the city is “giving away” the taxpayers money please consider the example above and understand that if not for tif in the example(and for ic systems) the company would locate elsewhere and the taxpayers would continue to get only 3k per year in revenue from the property which would still be blighted or vacant—which is precisely what is happening right here in river city.

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        December 8, 2012 at 12:50 pm

        @really anonymous-OK, I understand but I still stand by it is NOT FREE money as some council members think it is. And how much has the city gained since they started using TIF? How many company’s have came in here and built new buildings. The only thing I have seen is already established company’s taking advantage of the program. Where are the NEW businesses? I don’t think I am out of line here when I say it is not doing what it was intended to do. By the way, thank you for the information. I knew some of it but not all and it was interesting.

      • really anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm

        lvs—I dont disagree with you at all–tif isnt appropriate for every deal and there are many cases where its use perhaps wouldn’t have been necessary. however, cities must use TIF if they are going to be competitive in recruiting outside businesses. It has been said that the city should have a stated policy for the use of TIF—i dont agree with that at all. I think every deal should stand on its own and should be fiercly negatiated—using TIF should be a tool thats available but not openly offered to any and all.

  11. 50 miles south Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2012 at 9:56 am

    i wonder…Do you think any new perspective companies ever read the negativity on local websites such as NIT. IF I had to choose, I sure as hell would pick a more friendly town assuming the incentives were the same

    • Katie Reply Report comment

      December 5, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      There are some people who spout off on here that they want people killed for about every crime committed. I think that is horrible and I hate that potential investors in our community see that there are people here with that attitude. I also hate the bigotry of some who post. But there are also a lot of people who worry a great deal about the state of our community. They are worried about crime, the cost of living, and what they think our civic leaders really care about. They are not always articulate, and I wish they would leave out the foul language and name calling, but I think outside readers can see that they do care about the future of this city and are frustrated that the only kind of growth we seem to see here is of the criminal element. We have lost some fine industries over the past few years and a couple thousand people. Our city leaders have not been able to replace them. I look at other cities in other states that were similar sized in the 1960’s and how exponentially they have grown, and I wonder what in the world is wrong with Mason City.
      The people who post here really would help themselves if they posted in more constructive manners. The name calling and going off half-cocked about things is not the way to bring about change. Articulate discussions and clear statements of positions instead of attacking people would have a much better chance of procuring a positive outcome for an issue.

  12. WD 80 Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I’m sure all the people loosing their jobs are really happy about the city getting the money back and think it’s great they are closing.

  13. not good Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2012 at 7:25 am

    If we could have only had a few more statues down town.
    This city is D.O.A. Frank LLoyd Wright builings, and more spending on crap that nobody cares about, will not bring it back.
    How can Charles City, Osage, St.Ansger, Garner, etc. All land new companys, and NOBODY wishes to come to our city?
    Last one out, turn out the lights!

  14. blog Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2012 at 6:50 am

    Too often companies like IC approach cities for big incentive packages and promises of employment but have no spine when it comes to keeping that agreement. It’s all about what’s in it for us. They don’t care about their employees or anything other than getting those dollars. Our past council could have asked for the entire incentive amount when IC failed to keep their part of the bargain but only took part of it back. And this was after giving them a previous extension. So to the leaders of IC and our city officials who were in bed with them one big BOO HOO and don’t let the door hit you in the A–.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 6, 2012 at 5:07 am

      Comments like this are endemic of the ignorance and attitude of a town that has lost and will continue to lose businesses. Don’t hit your A on the way out? Are you going to stand outside of I.C. System on it’s last day and give high fives to all of the employess who just lost their jobs because you don’t like their company? Cheer and raise a glass to the lost income taxes and spending on local business said employees spent in the area? I’m a former employee. I had a good wage, I was treated well, had benefits, and worked with some pretty great people. I’m college educated, had a wide job search, and accepted a position with I.C. System ahead of other companies. Your comments, sir or mam, are steeped in ingnorance and at best, are a public admission of the attitudes prevalant in this town and a warning sign against any other business or professional from coming. Thank you for opening the door that will so firmly slap my hindquarter on the way out. I can’t wait to take my knowledge, work ethic, professional experience, and community involvement with me. I.C. System wasn’t the problem. You are.

      • Better Observer Reply Report comment

        December 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm

        Wow….just, Wow. You sir, just delivered the best comeback this board has ever seen. Hey blog, don’t let the facts keep you from perpetuating your ignorant opinion. As someone who’s lived most my life in Mason, I can’t help but cringe every time someone like you opens their mouth. Glad I left, felt good to have the door hit me on the way out! This young professional won’t be coming back!

  15. Wahmbulance Driver Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2012 at 5:41 am

    everything ive heard about that place wasnt good in the least. sad that so many people will be out of jobs but maybe if the people in charge there cared more it wouldnt happen. sadly its there own fault.

    and all the higher ups will just move on while the desk jockeys struggle.

  16. blog Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2012 at 5:25 am

    This business has struggled since coming to MC. At least some of the last council could see this and did not dump more money into this boat anchor. Anonymous is just another yes person sent here to try to gain some brownie points with our dictator.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 6, 2012 at 5:23 am

      Struggled since they got here? For almost 24 years? Seriously?

    • Scott Reply Report comment

      December 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      This business flourished in MC for most of the 23 years. It was only with the recession the past few years that everyone has struggled, not just IC. Its amazing how many uninformed people like to comment on these blogs…………..

  17. Observer Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2012 at 1:43 am

    “We can thank our former city council for this. They screwed IC systems over well, I don’t blame them for getting out of town.”

    It was clear that IC Systems did not uphold their end of the agreement connected to the financial incentives given them. It was a decision IC Systems made not to fulfill the requirements of that agreement, no one else.

    Let’s not revise history. Also let us not forget the connections between City officials and the managers of this location.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 5, 2012 at 6:39 am

      The agreement said that if IC System didn’t meet their employment targets they could request an extension from the Council and that the Council shall not unreasonably withhold such extension. The Council didn’t hold to the agreement, nt IC Ssystem. I don’t know anything about the company but I have read the agreement. You can download it from the County Recorder’s web page and read it yourself. Everyone needs to know what the agreement really says.

    • Better Observer Reply Report comment

      December 5, 2012 at 4:10 pm

      Way to make a comment that shows your lack of knowledge on this topic. I was present at the council meeting in question all those years back. IC system was screwed over. I distinctly remember hearing that council members will “unavailable” for discussion leading up to their decision. Also, the company’s representative wasn’t even given the courtesy of being invited or notified of discussions. Classic Mason City. And we wonder why our town is dying!

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 6, 2012 at 5:18 am

      There was a RECESSION. Debt collection in good years is difficult. The company, like thousands of others, has struggled with revenue since the economy slowed. How can you watch what’s happened over the last few years and come to the conclusion that a little city council and a couple managers are more responsible for what happened than a global economic breakdown? Seriously. I’d like to hear this. The intellectual leaps and congntive dissonance is astounding.

      • Better Observer Reply Report comment

        December 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm

        As someone who worked at IC System when all of this went down, I can tell you that the word on the inside is that ownership felt screwed over, and from everything I can see, they certainly did. As far as the economy being the sole reason for them closing, I can’t comment on that considering that I haven’t had any contact with the company for more than a few years. However, I highly doubt that ownership simply forgave and forgot how the city participated in this “partnership”. As soon as an opportunity came up to consolidate operations I’m sure they decided to repay the favor. Don’t blame them one bit.

  18. Brother Reply Report comment

    December 4, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Someone on NIT made the comment on them closing in the Whiners Den more than a week ago. NIT always has the facts 🙂

  19. JB Johnson Reply Report comment

    December 4, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    did they get tax breaks years ago?

    • anonie Reply Report comment

      December 4, 2012 at 11:23 pm

      If not mistaken the city gave them quite a lot of $$$ to achieve a certain number of employees but IC never made it and the city finally said “no more” … i believe IC paid back all or most of what the city demanded for not meeting the employment goals

  20. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 4, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    They will close their doors in July 2012?

    • Really!! Reply Report comment

      December 4, 2012 at 9:31 pm

      Maybe it’s 12/31/12. We know it isn’t July.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 4, 2012 at 10:36 pm

        NIT changed the year in the article. Somehow it is better to use readers as fact checkers/proof readers than appear professional. Good luck NIT in 2003! 🙂

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 4, 2012 at 11:09 pm

        You may want to check the meaning of the word dyslexia before you use it.

      • 50 miles south Reply Report comment

        December 4, 2012 at 11:33 pm

        there is alot more important things to bitch about other than typos. get a life and choose your battles more carefully. its really getting old.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 5, 2012 at 9:42 am

        50 Miles South: If I am going to read, let alone pay for news, I require it to be as accurate as possible. If you let blatant typos slide, what is next? You say “get a life and pick your battles”. I say get off your ass and start paying attention. Kudos to Matt for owning up to and fixing the error too. Now that the Globe has decided to start charging for the crap they churn out, this should drive users to your site.

        • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

          December 5, 2012 at 9:58 am

          I appreciate the comment. I haven’t achieved perfection quite yet. I’m trying. However, we make mistakes here, just like every news source does, and I try to own up to all of them. Thanks for reading.

      • 50 miles south Reply Report comment

        December 5, 2012 at 10:09 pm

        I have also made mistakes in spelling ect. NOT THAT BIG OF A DEAL. its not really that terrable or life threatening. Stop complaining about a mistake. Except for Matt, we are mostly novice laypeople here. We are human and make honest mistakes.
        Also to anonymous. if your so worried about being correct and reading a correct article, then look at your own reply. “I said choose your battles” not “pick your battles”. egg on your face. but then again its not that big a deal. we all know what was meant

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      December 4, 2012 at 11:37 pm

      Yes it was a brief typo. 2013 is obviously the correct year. Thanks for pointing this out.

  21. MC Citizen Reply Report comment

    December 4, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    It appears this story is somewhat accurate as a press release was given to the Globe Gazette. My heart goes out to all of these employees. I have heard some bad but more good things about I.C System. My question would be did the city of Mason City make any effort to retain this business? And will they take steps to bring in another business? Wishing the best for our friends and neighbors who have been impacted by this closing.

  22. WD 80 Reply Report comment

    December 4, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    We can thank our former city council for this. They screwed IC systems over well, I don’t blame them for getting out of town.

  23. TheRealFred Reply Report comment

    December 4, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Merry Christmas. This sux.