Wednesday, September 29, 2004

City moves to seize land for rain forest

From the Iowa City Press-Citizen, Wednesday, September 29, 2004:

City officials have initiated condemnation proceedings against a property owner who stands in the way of a planned $180 million indoor rain forest and education center.

City Administrator Kelly Hayworth said the city asked a judge to appoint a compensation committee to place a value on property owned by Jere and Ruth Wissink. The committee hearing is Nov. 10. Included are several lots, with at least the 211 E. 10th St. home of Holiday Wrecker needed for the rain forest.

"We just felt that we are so far apart, there wasn't any reason to wait any longer," Hayworth said.

It marks the first time the city has resorted to condemnation in the old industrial park, southeast of Interstate 80 and First Avenue.

Last time I saw, the Rainforest was more than $100 million short of funding.