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Taking Aim on Ames?

Cindy Hildebrand

February 27, 2006

I skim local legal notices, where odd items sometimes pop up.  But the mother of all recent odd items was in the 1/17/06 minutes of the Story County Supervisors meeting.  A generous but so-far anonymous soul, represented by an attorney, is reportedly interested in donating thirty acres of land in Story County for The Extremely Expensive Environmental Project, or whatever it is calling itself these days.
I did a little sleuthing, but was only able to find out that the land proposed for donation is not far south of Ames.  However, it was pointed out to me that a really serious proposal would probably have been presented as an agenda item, whereas this proposal came up during the public discussion period.  Furthermore, followup information was supposed to be presented by the would-be donor around the end of January, and I have yet to find anyone who has heard anything else.
I thought we were safe up here, being as how Ames is not located along I-80, and several towns are already duking it out to win The EEEP.  I'm still not really worried, especially if the City of Ames would have to pony up.  A number of residents would come boiling out of the woodwork to try to prevent that.
But I'm unnerved.  For those of us old enough to remember, watching this thing flap about overhead, trying to decide where to land, is like watching the Flying Fickle Finger of Fate.   Please, EEEP, if you refuse to melt away, make your momentous decision, descend to your chosen location, tell us how much money you plan to try to suck from local and state tax coffers, and let the brawling begin.
Cindy Hildebrand
Ames, Iowa