Small Iowa city agrees to plan for huge federal ghost town

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KNOXVILLE, Iowa (AP) -- After watching for more than a decade as a once busy Veterans Affairs campus deteriorated into a sprawling ghost town, leaders of a small Iowa city announced plans to take control of the property and likely demolish most of the structures.

City and county officials signed documents Wednesday taking ownership of the 153-acre property southeast of Des Moines.

For decades it had operated as its own city with a power plant, fire station, water tower, chapel, and even an old bowling alley fashioned from a Quonset hut.

That abruptly changed in 2009, when federal officials closed the facility. Officials say the plan to build housing at the site.