After listening to citizens’ ill-informed concerns at three separate meetings, city council members recently denied a motion to grant land to Love’s Travel Stop at the Interstate 35 Business Park Subdivision in Story City, Iowa.
According to council meeting minutes from Monday, Nov. 3, more than 30 people spoke up during the meeting, with more than two-thirds opposed to the truck stop.
Among the many arguments presented, the misconception that a truck stop would bring crime in to the city was the most popular point of contention. One citizen noted that she had read a report from the FBI website on crime, prostitution and human trafficking. She posted that truck stops are an environment for such things to happen. Another citizen was concerned that the volunteer ambulance service could not handle increased calls as a result of a truck stop.
Other concerns included traffic, noise and a lack of economic benefit. A petition against the Love’s request with 477 signatures was also presented. A map with truck stops and the surrounding areas that have experienced no economic growth was also presented.
Others were more welcoming of a Love’s location in Story City, with Council Member Becky Watson acknowledging that Love’s is a family-oriented business. A citizen present at the meeting pointed out that everyone she has spoken with has no opinion, suggesting the voices against the motion are a vocal minority. A business owner in Story City thought a Love’s truck stop would improve downtown business. He also felt truck tire repair was a plus.
After the public hearing, council members discussed Ordinance No. 242, which changes the official zoning map of the city to accommodate Love’s development plans. The motion was denied.
Neither the Story City administrator nor a Love’s representative could be reached for comment.
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