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Rain Forest Plodding Along

Steve Nicoles


November 30, 2005, 9:56:23 PM

[Note: This material is copyright by KCRG-TV9, 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 KCRG-TV9.]

(Cedar Rapids - KCRG) --Time continues to slip by for the proposed rain forest in Coralville.

The two sides are trying to find a time to meet late next week and it looks as though the project could start moving again, although not very fast.

The rain forest project is moving about as fast as a dump truck filled with prime Coralville dirt lumbering up a hill to First Avenue.

The Coralville city council met Tuesday night for the first time since The Environmental Project set a Friday deadline to meet demands but the council did not even discuss the issue.

Councilman John Weihe said, "The people on the council have each given their individual input and we will see if there is any common ground with the environmental people."

The environmental people, namely governor turned IEP Chair Bob Ray, says missing the Friday deadline will not kick Coralville out of the rain forest running, however, he says if other communities call with serious offers, he will not hang up on them.

This might seem like a public relations nightmare, but many people do not even know about the rain forest.

Craig Harris lives in Washington, but works in Coralville.

He said, "I think they're just going to have different plants that can grow year round inside a bubble."

Lots of people we talked to say the same thing but the few who do know about the project know what is at stake in the coming days.

Tiffin resident Brian Hauber said, "If they (Coralville) step up to the plate and get their finances straight, maybe we can get something done."

Coralville will have a chance to step up to the plate late next week as they try to set a date and time to meet with IEP leaders.

Weihe says if there is positive movement at that meeting, it could set up another meeting. If not, it could kill the project, meaning the pace is more likely to slow down than speed up.