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Rain Forest Planners to Meet With Officials

Dateline Iowa

Des Moines Register

December 1, 2005

[Note: This material is copyright by the Des Moines Register, and is reproduced here as a matter of "fair use" for non-commercial, educational purposes only. Any other use may require the prior approval of the Des Moines Register.]

Coralville officials will meet next week with planners of a proposed indoor rain forest to discuss the project's request for more land, a different site and proof that the city can raise $40 million.

Coralville City Administrator Kelly Hayworth said Wednesday that city officials would meet with the Environmental Project planners, but did not know the date or location.

Former Iowa Gov. Robert Ray, chairman of the project, wrote a letter Nov. 18 asking the city to confirm by Friday whether it can provide at least 25 acres of land farther south from the noise of Interstate 80. The project's board of directors also wants Coralville to confirm its commitment to giving $40 million to the $180 million project, which would include an indoor rain forest, aquarium and large-format theater.

Organizers say the project would be built by spring 2009.