Friday, November 11, 2005

Rainforest Negotiations A Setup?

A reader pointed us to this piece in the Cedar Rapids Gazette's free section:
Rain forest path a slippery slope?
Published: 11/11/2005 5:13 PM
By: Zack Kucharski - The Gazette

CORALVILLE, IA - Some City Council members here say additional negotiations with the group planning to build the $180 million indoor rain forest is a set-up by the project to force negotiations into an impasse and allow the project to move elsewhere.

Council members suspect the project, which is any day expected to provide the city with conditions the city is to meet if the project is to be located here, will raise demands for land and other assistance to levels Coralville can't meet.

''My view of this is they're sending something back to us that we can't accept so that we're the bad guys and they have to leave,'' said City Council member Tom Gill. ''This whole thing is a setup to make us look bad. We keep going back and forth trying to work it, and it just hasn't been working.''

The city sent a list of its terms to project leadership in late August and has since been waiting for a counter-proposal. Board members met Thursday in Amana and told the project's executive director David Oman to once again attempt negotiations with Coralville.

Gill probably has a point in that he's frustrated at being treated like some minor league chump by Oman and his gang of hoity-toity con-artists, but in all honesty we don't see where the rainforest is going to go.

Des Moines? Not a chance. Taxpayers are bogged down with so many projects in Polk County that this couldn't possibly fly.

Davenport? Impossible without all the cities on both sides of the Mississippi banding together, and that ain't ever gonna happen.

Grinnell? You're joking.

Dubuque? They're going to be too busy paying $80+ million for a municipal communications utility that will lose money so a few residents can pay $35 a month to download MP3s, waReZ, and pr0n instead of $40 a month. Plus it isn't along a major interstate.

We can't guess on Tom Gill's hunch, but we think that if Oman and the con-artists behind the Rainforest turn the tables and issue a whole bunch of time-sensitive demands on the Coralville City Council then we think the news media in Iowa and the taxpayers in Coralville should raise holy hell against the following idiots for not recognizing that they're being strung along:

Jim Fausett, Mayor
Phone: 319-351-6338

John Lundell, Council member
Phone: 319-351-1125

John Weihe, Council member
Phone: 319-338-1159

Henry Herwig, Council member
Phone: 319-351-3119