Home 5 Ag Stories IEDA Board delays final vote on Ames annexation until March

IEDA Board delays final vote on Ames annexation until March

Ames City Planner Charlie Kuester makes case about annexation in front of IEDA board in Des Moines. Photo Credit: Ben Nuelle

The Iowa Economic Development Board tabled their vote on Ames annexation plan until next month.

The board voted 3-2 Wednesday to make a final vote on the Ames Annexation plan in March.

Charlie Kuester is the City Planner for Ames.

“We’ve had a number of public hearings and informal meetings at least the two years I’ve been involved with it. I think those non-consenting are sure they are non-consenting and those that want to move forward want to move forward. I don’t think there is middle ground here. It needs to be a yea or nay decision.”

The city of Ames wants to annex 1,350 acres just east of I-35 to 590th Avenue.

80 percent of the land owners support this annexation giving Ames authority to annex this land under Iowa’s 80/20 rule.

However, Ames resident Joe Rippeto, says he has several concerns with the annexation.

“First concern I raised, is Ames annexed land east of 35 a dozen years ago, never completed it and used the land for anything people wanted, and never provided any services to it. They didn’t do water, sewer, or electric. The only thing Ames got out of it was a about $200,000 bill for road repair which would have otherwise went to the county if they hadn’t annexed it.”

Rippeto also says the project is too big and residents are footing the bill.

“I feel like I am speaking more for the people in Ames who are paying the bills for this. We’ve had our bills raised for two and a half years now to fund this. A lot of us think we were misled about that.”

None of the non-consenting landowners showed up at Wednesday’s IEDA board meeting.

But an anonymous letter opposing the annexation was read aloud. It said the annexation would hinder the rural community and farmland. The board will vote March 8th.