Bettendorf to Riverdale: Plow your own streets, do your own engineering if you keep trail access closed

Unhappy Bettendorf City Council members are sending a stern message to the City of Riverdale and Mayor Mike Bawden: You can plow your own snow and handle your own engineering services if you're going to close down the Mississippi River Trail connection along South Kensington Street.

Effective November 11, Bettendorf plans to let expire an agreement it has to provide snow removal and engineering services to Riverdale. The resolution is on the Bettendorf City Council's agenda for approval Tuesday (10/20). Editor's Note: The resolution was passed on a 7-0 vote at the council's 10/20 meeting.

"During city council goal-setting Oct. 2-4, the concerns of the city council members relative to the closing of the sidewalk extension between the Mississippi River Trail and South Kensington was discussed," the council resolution states. "During the course of the discussions, members of the city council felt that the response by Riverdale Mayor Mike Bawden Aug. 26, 2020 letter to City Administrator Decker Ploehn's Aug. 18, 2020 letter were not productive and not responsive to the concerns that Bettendorf had raised."

As a result, the council stated "the spirit of cooperation between the two cities has been eroded to the point that the City of Bettendorf no longer wishes to provide services to the City of Riverdale for snow removal and engineering services."

The dispute over the Mississippi River Trail began even before the recreation path was completed, with neighbors along South Kensington complaining about trail users and objecting to walkers and bikers using South Kensington (a public street) to access the trail.

Riverdale city officials in recent months voted to close access to the trail from South Kensington, prompting objections from the Quad City Bike Club, trail users and Bettendorf officials, who warned Riverdale it could be liable for repayment of federal dollars used for construction of the trail extension if the public access was not reopened.

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