to Nicholas Johnson's Coralville Rain Forest Web Site
Rain Forest Board to Make One More Pitch to Coralville
November 10, 2005, 3:20 p.m.
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Board members on Thursday want the project to resolve issues surrounding the transfer of the 22-acre site located just south of Interstate 80 and east of First Avenue from the city to the project. The sides have been negotiating for more than two months, but have not reached any resolution.
''The direction from the board is to see one more time if we can work out some of these issues with Coralville,'' said David Oman, the project's executive director. ''We have similar interests in understanding whether the site criteria, or the technical issues financing, the politics and all of this will work or not work.''
Project officials have been working with the city since 2001 to build the project.
the project may move to another city has been growing as the project's
relationship with City Council members has strained, and as the majority
of City Council members have expressed doubt over the project's leadership
and future. Project officials and City Council members have been at odds
in recent months with the project's selection
of a new architect and at the project's inability to raise the remaining $90 million needed for construction.
Oman said Thursday
he expects the discussions with Coralville to move quickly and he says
time is increasingly important to the project and the city. Both sides
need some sort of resolution because both are entering critical times in
their respective projects. The project is entering a critical stage in
design work which requires specific site information, while the city is
in the middle of a massive 180-acre redevelopment in the area the rain
forest is proposed to be built.