CLINTON — A new tenant is most likely on its way to the Lincolnway Rail and Air Park after a proposal to bring in the new entity was forwarded by the Clinton City Council Committee of the Whole on Tuesday.
The proposal, now set for official approval at the Sept. 24 regular council meeting, will allow Texas-based O Energy, LLC to begin utilizing just more than 39 acres at the park.
According to city-distributed information, O Energy is based in Spring, Texas, and has expressed interest in a presence at Clinton’s park, a site that totals 247.16 acres. The company plans to construct and operate a “renewable fuels facility” on the nearly 40 acres, should council proceedings allow it.
The plot sits in the park’s southwest corner according to City Administrator Matt Brooke, and would offer O Energy freedom and mobility to carry out its renewable energy plans, he said.
“We felt that the area in that southwest corner would be very suitable for them, but it also gives us the time and space to still have land available if other businesses came along during the period of this option.
The “option” Brooke referred to points to language in an agreement which would dictate that O Energy, after a nine-month period from the document’s “effective date,” would pay the city $1,250 per month for the next three months to utilize the section of the park. The developer could then choose to extend the agreement another 12 months, the agreement says. At any point in the agreement period, O Energy may choose to outright purchase the land at a rate of $29,900 per acre purchased.
“We’re going to stay in touch with them,” Brooke said of ongoing communication with O Energy leaders. “They’re very excited about this option for this ground, and they’re very excited about bringing this business to Clinton and getting folks hired on at this location as well.”
Brooke said he and his staff will also “work closely” with entities like the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Clinton Regional Development Corp. to facilitate employment options for those wishing to potentially get a job at the site.
The park is also seeing interest from businesses like Sewer Equipment, an Illinois-based company looking to find an Iowa home at the site. No council action has been taken on that, Brooke said, but the conversation is ongoing.
A buzz has washed over the site, Brooke was pleased to tell the council on Tuesday.
“A lot is going on,” Brooke said. “Soon, (there will be) 100-plus people working out at the railpark and moving the ground. We’re really excited about that...this area actually turns out to be a win-win.”