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Huge ghost town next door clouds Iowa city’s future

March 30, 2019

KNOXVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Since the Veterans Affairs moved out of a sprawling campus on the edge of the small Iowa city of Knoxville a decade ago, local leaders have become increasingly anxious about the ghost town that has become a drag on their community.

The VA left behind 39 buildings and Knoxville residents are desperate to work out a plan with state and federal officials for an area that once operated as a separate city. There’s a power plant, fire station, water tower, green houses, laundry and chapel.

Knoxville Mayor Brian Hatch says it once was a beautiful campus but “now the buildings are rotten.”

City leaders hope to take control of the site but think up to $10 million could be needed to clear the buildings for future development of housing.