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Clear Lake council, county supervisors approve economic aid application for secretive warehouse project


This news story was published on December 29, 2014.
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Project site

Project site

CLEAR LAKE – A massive, secretive warehouse project in Clear Lake that has already received millions in assistance may get another boost after local elected officials approved an application to the state Economic Development Authority’s High Quality Jobs Program.

Tuesday morning, the Clear Lake city council and the Cerro Gordo Board of Supervisors approved an application by Windmill Realty LLC to the state’s High Quality Jobs program. The High Quality Jobs program provides qualifying businesses tax credits and direct financial assistance to off-set some of the costs incurred to locate, expand or modernize an Iowa facility. To qualify for this “very flexible assistance package that includes loans, forgivable loans, tax credits, exemptions and/ or refunds”, eligible businesses must meet certain wage threshold requirements.

Project site

Project site

Windmill Realty LLC is based in Delaware and represents what officials call a “Fortune 100 company” that has not yet been named, but will be named closer to project completion. The project has a capital investment cost of $65 million to build and equip. The total anticipated tax base will be $19 million. There will be 164 jobs with an average wage of $39,000, not including an “outstanding” fringe benefit package. Total payroll will be $6.5 million annually. The project is located in the Luker Memorial Industrial Park on Lots 6 and 7. The site is 39 acres. Construction began in April of 2014 and should be substantially completed in April, 2015. Hiring begins in November of 2015 and a second wave of hiring would commence in May of 2016. Windmill Realty LLC received a $1.675 forgivable loan over 10 years from Clear Lake and another loan of $656,000 from Cerro Gordo county. There are performance standards that must be met by the un-named company to continue to receive those benefits.

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26 Responses to Clear Lake council, county supervisors approve economic aid application for secretive warehouse project

  1. Katie Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Amazon has not made secrecy a requirement at other places they have built distribution centers. If it is Amazon, why would they make it a requirement here?

    • Just My Opinion Reply Report comment

      December 30, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      I don’t think it’s Amazon. I heard a medical supply company. But just a rumor.

    • LVS Reply Report comment

      December 30, 2014 at 5:54 pm

      @Katie-I heard from a person who is pretty much in the know that it was Amazon. However, that was a long time ago and it could certainly be wrong. I am amazed that they have been able to keep it secret this long.

  2. Philosophus Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2014 at 10:51 am

    One thing I noticed is the NIT crowd believes in “the grass is greener on the other side of Highway 18” phenomena, because Clear Lake government seems to get a pass from Matt, when essentially they are doing the exact same things he alleges Bookmeyer and company to be doing. I understand that it’s easy to want to align yourself with someone (scott flory) so as not to present yourself as a total renegade French Revolutionary. Matt treats Clear Lake differently than MC.

    • NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      December 30, 2014 at 11:17 am

      I did publish a report from JB Johnson about the secretive project in CL. I believe I wrote that the project should be fully disclosed, yet I do understand the nature of how business works these days, and that might have endangered CL landing the project. I have also written that I feel CL is more of a class act in regards to how it operates its business than MC. I do not see Mr. Flory attacking people in a physical way, as our city administrator has done. I do not see Mr. Crabb at the bars or hear rumors from people about any inappropriate behavior from him, as I have MC’s mayor (countless times). I have not been given audio tapes of CL council members threatening people in bars and mocking their physical appearances. To me, so far, CL seems to go about its business the right way. They have never denied NIT any information. That’s really all I can ask of them; they deserve little or no criticism outside of just being watched and reported on, as any government entity should be by the media.

      • Philosophus Reply Report comment

        December 30, 2014 at 1:17 pm

        Fair enough, but Jim Boehnke was involved in a suspicious Saturday night running of a traffic sign resulting in an accident, and Scott flory has allegedly torn up traffic citations issued to him by police for parking his truck illegally near city hall. Flory also cost the city money because of a dustup he got in with a vet who painted a sign on the side of his truck saying “No Flory”. He refused Rod Pumps application to fill a vacant council seat despite Pump being 2nd highest vote

        • Philosophus Reply Report comment

          December 30, 2014 at 1:24 pm

          Plus the guy operates a loud, illegal exhaust Harley Davidson motorcycle, and looks as though he possibly could be involved with illegal human growth hormones, although I admit I have no proof to that. His appearance is that of a ripped bodybuilder, and statistically most of those guys are found to be users of ROIDS. Food for thought anyway. Other people have other stories to share if you’re willing to listen to them.

      • Philosophus Reply Report comment

        December 30, 2014 at 1:34 pm

        My point is you may not know enough about them, because plenty of people have their share of grievances about city Hall in clear lake. You mention Brent Trout being potentialky violent, but I heard from a police officer that Flory got so hot about the truck sign and subsequent lawsuit the city settled on, that he challenged the vet to a fight on vet’s front lawn. If they personally crossed you or you lived in CL, my bet is they’d be just as egregious in your eyes as Booky inc.

        • Philosophus Reply Report comment

          December 30, 2014 at 1:44 pm

          And I have no problem admitting that my grievances with city Hall began when I petitioned the police dept and then city council to do something about loud illegal exhaust systems which were harassing me and my family. Despite being 100% accurate in quoting the law and petitioning my govt for redress, they strung me along, and misrepresented the issue, hoping I’d go away. It was insulting and frustrating. Because of this, they cannot and should not be trusted.

          • Polio Loco

            January 3, 2015 at 1:51 am

            Philo… You are in Vegas now, REMEMBER? This is no concern of yours.

        • NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

          December 30, 2014 at 2:58 pm

          In all fairness, you have been the main complainer about CL, and NIT has allowed you to vent here endlessly. If NIT was protecting CL, as you say, wouldn’t we delete your comments or silence you in some way? Or even write stories discrediting your claims? NIT has just reported on the activities of CL government as we have plenty of others. MC gets editorials and deep investigation because of the utter and egregious actions perpetrated by the elected officials here, not to mention their cronies who benefit, at the expense of the common citizens. Also, much more information flows our way about MC than any other government entity. Just the other day, a city hall insider emailed and said there is more behavior there they want us to investigate. Of course, we are following up on that request now and verifying those claims.

          • Philosophus

            January 3, 2015 at 7:14 am

            So this is a numbers game with you? How many people other than you really give a flying hoot about the economic activities of the Mason City Chamber of Commerce, or Eric Bookmeyer? Who but Mr. NIT drove the steady campaign and war against the Globe Gazette out of perhaps jealous animosity after having worked there? You use the bully pulpit as you wish (your sandbox right?) but don’t try and isolate me and make me out to be some crackpot. I won’t be renewing with that attitude.

          • LVS

            January 3, 2015 at 8:46 am

            One can only hope he doesn’t renew his subscription. But, he has been known to lie (a lot).

          • Buzz Crumcutter

            January 3, 2015 at 4:32 pm

            ” don’t try and isolate me and make me out to be some crackpot.” Sorry Peter, the mold has already set. You roll in your own poop, what else are we to think.

            ” I won’t be renewing with that attitude.” Umm, bullshit. You’ll renew and you know it. You’ve never done anything you said you were going to do, you are not a man of your word. So suck it up cupcake and get things cleaned up before that 6th grader gets on your ass… Again.

          • LVS

            January 3, 2015 at 5:59 pm

            @Buzz-The 6th grader has probably fired him already due to extreme stinkiness. He has never kept a job a month in his life. He will probably pull into his mothers driveway about next Monday or Tuesday. Clear Lake is going to take in in the shorts again.

          • Philosophus

            January 3, 2015 at 6:37 pm

            Alright you have a point about the stinkiness. Man this smell doesn’t want to come out! I think there’s a timeframe in which one must get his clothes peeled off and washed, otherwise there remains a subtle horse manure smell that doesn’t go away. I’m not sure what timeframe it is, because in other incidents I’ve started the cleanup within an hour. This time I went 4 hours and whoah….trying not to do that again. But I won’t feel bad about it because society isn’t designed right

  3. LVS Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2014 at 10:17 am

    This is just what the area needs. Some decent paying jobs.

  4. badpontiac Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Word is you have to make 38k to equal welfare – 39k average = 200k for some people and a lot of people working there will never see 30k per year.

    • Philosophus Reply Report comment

      December 30, 2014 at 10:24 am

      I brought up the same discrepency on this issue a few articles back. You’re exactly right. Averages are just that: AVERAGES. Executives could be pulling $200,000 like you say the rest of the jobs under $20,000. They never explained themselves as to the EXACT breakdown. Good job.

  5. Philosophus Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2014 at 7:51 am

    And what’s this ‘High Quality Jobs Program’ bullarky? How is it NOT socialism for a government to be designating what or what isn’t a “high quality job?”. Selective preferential treatment of some business over others is patently unfair. No matter how mesmerized you may be over these big numbers it’s still boils down to a breach in conservative ideals of saving your money and reinvesting in your own business from your own profits…sans government assistance.

    • Philosophus Reply Report comment

      December 30, 2014 at 7:58 am

      The Clear Lake government are officially identified and branded as Socialists. For reasons entirely personal and unknown, a citizen may have a disagreement with using their tax money to fund this unknown business, and therefore ought to be exempt from paying the direct amount of taxes which will go to this project, and should be legally protected in doing so. The mayor’s team should have sought private investors for this deal. Withhold taxes out of principle protest.

  6. Bobby G Reply Report comment

    December 29, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    I heard it’s going to be Amazon.

    • Allen Reply Report comment

      December 30, 2014 at 10:05 am

      I heard that too, sounds like a good deal for the area economy. Hopefully it will take some people off welfare.

  7. Philosophus Reply Report comment

    December 29, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    They kissed a company’s ass because intrinsically they are empty, hollow, nobodies, with zero talent. If they believd in their own ideals, they would keep government out of the private sector, and simply use tax monies for traditional uses. Favoring a favoring some businesses, no matter how profitable, cotradicts their core philosophy. Hypocrites. The free market is supposed to determine a businesses expansion, not the goverment.

  8. Philosophus Reply Report comment

    December 29, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    And these charlatans have the nerve to not call themselves communist. The entire city council is red tie republicans, and their every action involves assistance to this business with taxpayer money. Whatever happened to the old mantra of “picking yourself up by your bootstraps and making something of yourself?” Their strict conservative ideals conveniently are thrown out the window when it suits them. This IS SOCIALISM so not a peep outta ya…ya hear?

  9. Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

    December 29, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    Can’t wait for this to get operational. The sooner the better for many local economies too.