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Growth: check; annexation: check; sewage: hmmm

Bettendorf's elected city officials meet this weekend to set goals and land annexation to assure the city's steady northward sprawl will no doubt come up for discussion.

The more pressing issue when it comes to future growth, however, is sewage. Specifically how will the city handle the growing treatment needs for future homes and businesses located more than 20 miles from the Iowa Quad-Cities' only sewage treatment facility?

Bettendorf municipal debt margin drops, but decline has little to do with reining in capital spending

Bettendorf's elected officials must be getting the message from constituents about the city's sky-high debt.

No, they haven't reined in their free-spending ways; the city just issued another $10.2 million in general obligation (GO) bonds.

But they have figured out how to make the city's debt appear smaller to voters, particularly prior to municipal elections.

Same old script for downtown redevelopment; taxpayers should demand a better return

Before Bettendorf aldermen approve another round of taxpayer subsidies for downtown redevelopment, they should take a drive along 53rd Avenue and ask themselves: why are businesses paying top dollar to build along the busy corridor without a nickel from city coffers?

If asked, they will hear why commercial businesses flock to 53rd Avenue and avoid downtown Bettendorf: a location with easy access to residents with moderate to high disposal incomes.

As Davenport simmers over gambling give-aways; similar questions should be raised in Bettendorf

As the Davenport City Council contemplates how it ended up paying millions in site work for its new land-based casino, Bettendorf aldermen also should be asking questions about its development agreement with the Isle of Capri Casino.

Revisions to that agreement in 2007 allowed Green Bridge Company (owned by the Goldstein family) to wiggle out of a pledge to create $27 million worth of riverfront development on land adjacent to the casino.

Farm pollution of rivers and streams parallels city/industry sewage pollution of 100 years ago

Today's pollution of Iowa rivers and streams from farm runoff echoes an earlier chapter in Iowa history when agricultural industries – livestock slaughterhouses and sugar beet processors – caused severe widespread pollution of those same state waterways.

Bettendorf, aka Bettenberg, makes the big time on Emmy winning Netflix series 'House of Cards'

U.S. President Francis Underwood in the popular Netflix series 'House of Cards' has hit the Iowa campaign trail, just like the real presidential hopefuls now crisscrossing our state.

And in one of this season's episodes, Underwood's female challenger, Heather Dunbar, fires up a blue-collar crowd in a small, union hall calling for a higher minimum wage and criticizing WalMart. As she leaves the meeting, the sign in the background proclaims the location as "Bettenberg Union Hall." A smaller message on the same sign advertises "Sweet Corn Roast Thursday."

Proposed Bettendorf comprehensive plan truly would be a game-changer for city development

The proposed "Premiering Bettendorf" comprehensive plan – unveiled at a public meeting this week (4/14) – truly would be a game-changer for community development if adopted as is by the city council.

For starters, the plan would replace the more than two dozen very specific land zoning classifications with three broad land use categories using low- to high-density classifications.

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