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Multi-Billion Dollar Fertilizer Plant Impacting Economy

WEVER, Iowa (AP) -- The construction of a $1.8 billion fertilizer plant is having a significant impact on southeast Iowa, but many people still debate how much the project will boost the economy long term.

About 1,500 construction workers are building the plant near Wever, and that number is expected to grow to nearly 2,500 later this year.   

Lee County Sheriff Jim Scholl says area residents have noticed the heavy construction traffic.The Des Moines Register reports the plant Orascom Construction is building is supposed to create 165 permanent jobs after construction is done. In return, the company received $100 million in state tax breaks.The project's supporters expect the plant to provide an economic boost to the region and state.

But Iowa State University economist David Swenson says the state overpaid.

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