WATERLOO, Iowa — A developer and city officials are working to demolish an abandoned greyhound track in northeast Iowa and replace it with a business park.
The Waterloo City Council voted Monday to add the Waterloo Greyhound Park to the city’s contract with Deer Creek Development. The move could allow for incentives to raze and redevelop the deteriorating structure, which has broken windows, graffiti and overgrown weeds. The track shuttered more than 20 years ago.
“It’s the front porch of Waterloo; everybody sees it when they come and go,” said Deer Creek official Mike Youngblut.
The developer will need to cooperate with nonprofit National Cattle Congress Inc. and the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, who are in a legal dispute over the property’s ownership, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls reported .
The nonprofit opened the park in 1986, but the track started losing money. The tribe loaned more than $9 million to the nonprofit in 1995 while it was undergoing bankruptcy reorganization. A district court judge ruled in June that the tribe had the right to seize the nonprofit’s property. The nonprofit appealed the ruling to the Iowa Supreme Court earlier this month.
Youngblut said he’s hopeful the groups can reach a solution, but “an infinite number of moving parts” complicate the process.
Community Planning and Development Director Noel Anderson said the city had been planning to seize the property but halted the process when the tribe claimed “sovereign nation” status and came to the table for negotiations.
Deer Creek has invested more than $4 million into developing about 100 acres of local farmland.
Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.com