Since his start in radio news, Trent has won awards from the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, the Nebraska Associated Press, and the Iowa Broadcast News Association.
Rice also serves as the 2009-2010 President of the Iowa Broadcast News Association.
Rice is a native of Plattsmouth, Nebraska. He and his wife Solveig have been married since 2000. They live in Ames where he enjoys golf, reading, movies, music college football, and the heartbreak that comes from being a Minnesota Vikings fan. Trent and Solveig have twin daughters Annika and Kaija and a son, Erik, who shares the same birthday as his sisters, just five years later.
Good evening and welcome to the final meeting in February for what's been a very busy month for the Ames City Council.
A pair of items of note on tonight's agenda. The first was the topic of today's "Your Turn" program. The council will consider tax abatements for Deery Brothers auto dealers for a propsed dealership on SE 16th St. and South Dayton Ave. The company has asked for the abatement to offset what it says is the high cost of putting the area five feet above the flood plain. Deery says they'll bring 40 new jobs to the city with an average salary of $60,000. The company also says the abatements are justified, in that it will spur development in an area that has seen nothing in the way of growth. At-large council member Matthew Goodman opposes the plan, saying the company should be willing to take the risk, on it's own dime to build in a floodway. Goodman also feels Deery is asking for the tax payer dollars to build a business that will directly compete with existing companies that estalished themselves without taxpayer help.
Also on the agenda, the hiring of an architectural firm to put together a specific plan for the expansion and renovation of the Ames Public Library. The work was made possible with last November's passage of a $18 million bond issue.
7:01PM With an early start and very short Conference Board meeting, the council finds itself in the unfamiliar territory of being ahead of schedule. The hiring of the library's architect was just approved--Library Director Art Weeks says they should be ready to being actual work in the building be the end of 2012, with about 18 months of work, ribbon cutting in May of 2014.
7:06PM Discussion on the Deery Bros. abatement request has begun. Just noticed that Council member Goodman IS NOT in the chamber.
7:10PM Goodman just arrived.
7:15PM City staff tells council that the proposed dealership DOES NOT currently fit the critera for tax abatement.
7:20PM Council members Jami Larson and Peter Orazem both get city staff members to recite what the rational was behind the improvement of SE 16th St and the replacement of the bridge. Staff mentions want of economic development in the area.
7:33PM John Lott, architect for Deery is taking questions right now. Says he's reminded of something his grandfather reminded him while living on the farm--"you don't grow corn unless you plant a seed." I'm struck, also by where the land sits that "you don't grow corn if the seed's under millions of gallons of flood water. But, that's just me. As for the council. Matthew Goodman asks if every business that developed on South Duff Ave. should have asked for tax abatements.
8:00PM Matthew Goodman says the economic development model changes when a city gives incentives for retail businesses. He seems to be the only one willing to die on this hill.
8:05PM Posted too soon. 1st ward's Tom Wacha says he's reluctant to appove a plan before there is clear proof that there is rationale for the development. Says he's also reluctant to put tax money behind a development in an area that floods.
8:15PM The council votes to ask staff to bring back language that creates a TIF district in the SE16th St. corridor from S. Dayton to S. Duff. Victoria Szopinski and Matthew Goodman vote no. Goodman renews his objection, saying businesses should take risk and succeed or fail of their own accords, not come to the city looking for tax money when their business model doesn't work.