Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

September 12, 2007

Koestner fears loss of city revenue with sale of Rubbermaid

By Dan Ehl - Managing editor

Centerville City Councilperson Kris Koestner during the Monday City Council meeting deplored the expected loss of property tax revenue from the former Rubbermaid facility.

The current valuation for the property is $6.4 million. Koestner fears that with the tentative sale of the former factory for approximately $2.5 million, the valuation will plummet - and in turn so will the city’s tax revenue from the property.

Lee Container Corporation is proposing to expand new Midwestern manufacturing in Centerville to serve existing and new customers for blow molded plastic containers.

Koestner was highly critical of the way the sale took place, saying the Des Moines real estate agency representing the property and Newell-Rubbermaid officials excluded local economic development officials from the negotiations. He said he understood other industries were looking at Centerville that would have been more beneficial for the community, but local officials weren’t given the time to develop incentive packages.

Koestner added that if Lee decides to locate in Centerville, the community will work closely with the manufacturer to make it a good fit for both of them.

Lyn Corkery, who became the new director of the Appanoose County Economic Development Corporation in August, said there were exciting aspects with the arrival of Lee Container Corporation. Lee, she said, offered the community the potential to recruit some of its current customers.

Corkery added that there were other exciting possibilities for attracting new businesses to the area. She noted there were currently a half dozen prospects on the table.

“It’s pretty overwhelming to have so may prospects with me just being here a month,” she observed Tuesday.