Artifacts latest hiccup in Wever fertilizer plant deal

The price-tag of a $1.4 billion fertilizer plant near Wever, Iowa might get a little steeper.

The Associated Press reported that Iowa state archaeologists discovered Native American artifacts on the site where Egyptian-based Orascom Construction Industries plans to build the plant.

The pottery, stone tools and spear points are likely between 1,000- and 1,600-years-old.

Orascom will conduct its own analysis of the site. The state archaeologist told the AP that if any areas are eligible for the National Register for Historic Places the company would be required to pay for an excavation before construction begins.

In an interview with the AP, a company spokeswoman downplayed the discovery and said that the project should continue on schedule for an anticipated 2015 production start.

The plant is expected to employ about 165 full-time workers. It's also expected to bring about 2,000 temporary construction jobs to the area.

The Orascom deal has come under fire from some state lawmakers because of the $200 million in state and local tax incentives.

Iowa City State Sen. Joe Bolkcom went as far as calling the deal â??Iowaâ??s worst economic development deal ever.â??