SIOUX CITY | The United States Attorneys' Office in Sioux City is exploring using a federal grant to hire a new prosecutor for handling Woodbury County drug crimes. 

County Attorney P.J. Jennings told the County Board Tuesday that the agency is looking at partnering with the county. The new hire would handle cases for both county and federal prosecutors, possibly for a two-year period, he said.

The plans are in the early stages and there is no timetable, Jennings said. He said he would have more details at another meeting.

"Any time we can get drug traffickers off the streets, I'm all for it," he said.

The county since 1996 has been part of the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program, an initiative to provide assistance to areas where drugs are being transported. The Midwest drug-trafficking area at the time included six states that had problems with methamphetamine.

Congress approved the program in 1988.

In other action Tuesday, the County Board approved a contract amendment between the Iowa Economic Development Authority and CF Industries to increase the latter's amount of tax incentives from $22 million to $31 million.

While Woodbury County does not handle financial details of the state's award, it has to sign off because the business is in the county.

The original contract specifying the tax incentives under the High Quality Jobs Program was made in October 2013. The tax incentives run through 2017.

The CF Industries nitrogen fertilizer plant near the Port Neal Industrial Area is spending $1.7 billion to expand the facility. Work is scheduled to finish in mid-2016.


County and education reporter

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