Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ten reasons Story City, Iowa, needs a truck stop

Story City, Iowa, a town of 3,341, 12 miles north of Ames on Interstate 35, recently rejected a Love’s truck stop.

We think Story City should reconsider. Here are 10 reasons why:

1. Story City was settled by Norwegian farmers looking for cheap real estate. They found it here at $1.25 an acre in 1850. A truck stop could only increase property values.

2. Story City was named for Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story (1779-1845) who was born in Massachusetts, taught at Harvard, and served in Washington, D.C. He never set foot in Iowa (never mind Story City) because there was no Iowa. But Justice Story was noted for his strong support of private property rights. He would never have forbidden a truck stop. They should build one now for Justice Joe.

3. There are more women than men in Story City, 100 women to every 76-and-a-half men, according to the census. Since 94 percent of all truck drivers are men, Story City could really use a truck stop.

4. Professional baseball player Hank Severeid from Story City once played for the Yankees. That was in 1926. Hank ends the list of famous people from Story City. In fact, he is the entire list. A truck stop would inspire Story City’s youth, like the rails inspired earlier generations.

5. In the 2012 novel “Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland” a small town populated by werewolves is named Story City. This is not good PR. Since trucking is certified 100 percent werewolf free, a truck stop could only help.

6. Story City is home to a citizen who claimed a cop once told him “500 at-large serial killers travel I-35 each day.” In a letter to the Story City Herald, the citizen opposed Love’s because he didn’t want to give predators a reason to stop “and abduct our innocent children.” Clearly, Story City needs a truck stop as a link to the real world.

7. In May of this year, according to the Story City Herald, Story City police had to contend with an apartment burglary, a stolen purse, a theft of catalytic converters from a repair shop, two slashed tires, five disturbances of the peace, four disorderly conduct calls, seven false alarms, seven domestic quarrels, two trespassers, 20 suspicious vehicles and 30 suspicious persons. The town is obviously out of control. How could a truck stop make things any worse?

8. Story City has a very low crime rate, according to government statistics, but that may all depend on how you define crime. According to RealtyTrac, Story City has a foreclosure rate double that of Iowa. Yet the town is home to five banks – a bank for every 660 people that live there. A truck stop would have no impact on this terrible statistic, but Story City should have one anyway.

9. Some residents opposed Love’s because they claimed it would cause traffic jams. Traffic jams? Twelve miles north of Ames and 30 miles east, south and west of nowhere else? What’s a traffic jam in Story City? A truck in front of you? I invoke the reality link once again. Story City needs a truck stop.

10. Truckers need a place in Story City to eat, refuel, and sleep. Story City needs the 50 permanent jobs. They should do the right thing and let Love’s build a truck stop.