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State court halts CUs 1 purchase of 24 acres
NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (11/15/10)--A Johnson County, Iowa, District Court judge Wednesday issued a temporary injunction to keep the city of North Liberty and a development group from buying land for a new University of Iowa Community CU headquarters. A group of individuals Tuesday requested the judge temporarily halt the plan to purchase the land, saying the city's incentive plan could result in higher taxes to pay off the city's bond on the property (Iowa City Press-Citizen Nov. 11). Last month, the city approved the purchase of 64 acres near Interstate 380 from owners North Liberty CC at a cost of $11 million for the economic development project (Iowa City Press-Citizen Nov. 10). Of the acquired land, 24 acres were to be transferred for $1 to the credit union by 380 Development Group. The credit union planned to build a 100,000-square-foot facility to house 400 employees. According to the Iowa City Area Development Group, the project would generate 400 direct jobs 230 indirect jobs and 324 induced jobs (kcrg.com Nov. 10). By law, cities cannot sell or give away property for less than the assessed value, so the 380 Development Group was formed to support the transaction. The city would sell bonds to facilitate the land purchase and the credit union property would be designated as a TIF (tax increment financing) area with the taxes raised going to repay the bonds. The lawsuit said rezoning the land from multi-family to office and research park is illegal. A hearing has been set for Jan. 4 on the injunction.


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