Site for possible MidAmerican plant announced

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WILTON - MidAmerican Enery Company announced where in Muscatine County it's looking at building a $3 billion nuclear or natural gas power plant.

The plant could go up on Trail Avenue, south of both Wilton and Durant. The plant could go up in the cornfields of Muscatine County in-between 140th and 150th Streets.

"There is a site, a potential site in Iowa near here," MidAmerican Executive Dean Crist said. "It could be for a natural gas plant or a nuclear plant."

Crist held a closed-door meeting to 40 different land-owning families that live near the site. The plant is expected to produce 350 jobs in the county if it were built. But now, the company is only studying the site. Some of the landowners though do not want the company building there. Phil Harris owns an acre of property that he claims MidAmerican wants.

"We have been approached to sell our land to 'em," Phil said. "And they made an offer, but we refused to take it."

Harris claims the company did not ask for enough money, especially after he remodeled his home on the county road. He claims that he and his wife Robin want to live there for the rest of their lives.

"Well we've been married now for 30 some years," Robin said. "We have the same goals you might say."

About 75 people came to the closed-door meeting Tuesday at Wilton's Community Center. Many of Phil's neighbors will have to make the same decision. He says MidAmerican's interested in at least two other homes on Trail Avenue.

"My family means more to me now than money," Phil said. "And money is not the object as far as I'm concerned."

Phil also says he moved to rural Muscatine County to get away from the city. MidAmerican is also interested in a site in Freemont County, Iowa. The company does not know when they will decide on either site. It also didn't rule out building a plant in both sites of Iowa.