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Coverage: Committee of the Whole 07/01/02
Wednesday July 03, @09:27AM, by Stephanie Smith
Subject : City Gov't: Committee of the Whole
Summary :

Topics covered include the YMCA project and a new US Cellular tower on 12th Street.

Text :

Special City Council Meeting 01 July 2002 – 5:00 p.m.


Presenter was Decker Ploehn:

He presented the YMCA’s plan to build a new facility within the City of Bettendorf. The Scott County YMCA will build the facility. The project will proceed with grant money from Vision Iowa, TIF financing, a considerable amount of funds from the City of Bettendorf and donations. The YMCA will run the facility and cover all operational expenses. The facility will have an indoor water slide similar to that of those in the Wisconsin Dells and Hilton Head. They are hoping that the facility could be built either connecting to the current fitness center or the pool. The plan is to have a multi-use pass to allow families to use Splash Landing in the summer and the Aquatic Center the other nine (9) months of the year.

The floor was then opened up to the public for comments.

Leo Bresnelly, CEO of Genesis Health, stated that Genesis is donating $ 750,000.00 for the indoor Aquatic Center, as they believe the warm water therapy pool will greatly add Health and Wellness to the community. He stated that Phase 3 heart patients will use the facility regularly for their therapy and that the Maple Crest facility is now overloaded. He feels that the quality of life of the area will benefit many times more than the money that is spent to set this facility up.

Tom Schulz from Bettendorf Chamber of Commerce; Believes that this is a great investment of Community funds. He believes that this investment will enhance the health and benefit the community.

Steve Bergman former Park Board member; this is a one time investment this is a Win Win situation.

Tim Wilkinson an Alcoa Employee; Alcoa contributes approximately $ 1 million dollars of revenue each day to the community. He feels that they should do this for the 500 Alcoa employees, who contribute property tax dollars towards the community. He wants the City to obtain the “Cat Grant”.

Mark Smith, parent and business owner; stated his own children would enjoy the facility. He also stated that Hand in Hand a children with special needs group would receive a better choice of life with the facility.

Shirley (couldn’t catch her last name), an ordinary tax paying citizen of Bettendorf, she stated that she had pages of signatures of people, who do NOT want this facility at the cost of taxpayer dollars. She further stated that when a school is to be built the taxpayers have the right of voting on the project. She feels that if the City spends the money this time it will open the doors to the City spending even more money on other individual companies that won’t pay taxes. She does not feel that just the Council, all of the voters, should handle an expense like this, taxpayers of the City should have a voice in the decision.

Linda De Marl (not certain of spelling); believes this a wonderful project to help families grow and spend time together.

Ms. Murphy has three (3) children and believes that this will be beneficial for the City’s children.

Sue Lehman (spelling); believes that since the budget has been cut, employees laid off, and taxes raised, how can the City justify placing a financial burden on the City?

Scott Rock(?); All in favor of the YMCA, but NOT the water slide. Improve the existing Fitness Center first then consider expensive improvements on the new Y.

Mark Barr; believes it will bring people to the Quad City area. It will attract students and children.

Patsy Ramaciti (a little person of Bettendorf); suggests the Council go favorably. This is a children based community. Base the decision on the WHOLE Community and the Quad City Community.

Linda Longenacher (?); a nurse at Genesis. While this is not an ideal time for the City to be spending money right now. This could be the chance of a Lifetime to greatly improve the quality of life for the future.

Doug Wormsby (?); family and tax dollars go hand in hand. He believes that the fiscal shape is sound enough to make the expenditure.

Kathy Branter (?); her family would spend a lot of time with this type facility. This could be a growth factor and a Win Win situation.

Ken Copel (?), President of US Bank; they have the largest Bank in Bettendorf. 60% of his management team lives in Bettendorf. This is a tough decision, but the leverage should be towards growth.

Gayle Randolph a senior citizen; Just plain opposes this project. Plus feels that meetings should take place at 7:00 p.m. instead of 5:00 p.m.

Tax levee with tax place to supplement commitment to Scott County YMCA. Will this Project bring more quality of life to the City?

The Mayor entertained a vote for Resolution to be turned over to City Council Meeting on Tuesday evening. Resolution carried by a 3 yes to 2 no vote.

Public Hearing Meeting adjourned at 5:45 p.m.

Regular Committee of the Whole meeting opened at 6:52 p.m.

#1 Information was given by Steve Van Dyke. Regarding the building of a US Cellular tower at 131 12th Street. This tower would be built on a private industrial site. The tower would be at 120 feet of height much lower than others in the area. This would decrease the empty areas now experienced by the City and regular cellular customers. The shorter tower would minimize the visibility from the riverfront park area.

Discussion: Concern that it is too close to the park.

Discussion: The City has not seen the contract between the owner of the property and US Cellular.

Discussion: The possibility that the property owner would allow other cellular companies to build towers on said property or would this tower have access to the other companies?

Decker Ploehn made a resolution for public access concerning this project to be placed on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting along with that of the YMCA project.

Resolution carried and meeting was adjourned at 6:08 p.m.

From the author of this report:

Upon arriving home I read the Agenda for the City Council Meeting to be held on July 2, 2002 At 7:00 p.m.

Item # 4 is an UPDATE OF THE I-74 PROJECT: by Lydia Pilecky CH2Mhill engineering firm.

Not being from the City of Bettendorf, the author is not certain if there can be any discussion from citizens at this meeting. The author does believe that there should be a presence of concerned citizens in the meeting chambers in case a question comes to vote.

Other items on the agenda include the YMCA Project.

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Quote of Note
"It’s a lot of money, in excess of $200 million."
- Gary Moore, I-74 Bridge Task Force
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