Orascom Still Fighting

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DAVENPORT - Scott County Planning and Development Director Tim Huey received an email from Orascom Construction Industries Tuesday saying that the company still wants to see what the Scott County Board of Supervisors decides.

The Egyptian fertilizer company is still interested in building a $1.3 billion fertilizer plant just west of Davenport. On Tuesday night though, the company hit a big road block when Scott County's Planning and Zoning Commission rejected a request to rezone the land.

"The numbers are incredible," Scott County Board of Supervisor Tom Sunderbruch said. "We've been asking about jobs for seven or eight years. We've been talking about increased revenue for about seven or eight years. Here it is."

Sunderbruch also understands why so many people spoke out against the idea though. The plant would take up 318 acres of prime farm land just across the street from the Nauman Sod Farm.

"An awful lot of it is N.I.M.B.Y. or 'not in my back yard,'" Sunderbruch said. "An awful lot of the farm people say it would be okay if it were somewhere else."

The county is willing to look at a different place with Orascom within the county. Nonetheless, Orascom has already been looking at other sites, one of them including Lee County, Iowa.

"Certainly if it's located in Scott County, then we'd reap the benefits of a tax base and jobs," Huey said.

Huey directed Tuesday night's meeting. He has not said whether he supports Orascom building its facility in the county. Sunderbruch also did not say whether he'd support building the facility.

A public hearing in front of Scott County's Board of Directors is set for August 2nd at Davenport North High School. The Board of Supervisors could make a decision on this at its August 16th meeting.