Bettendorf taxpayers would fund position to market private sports complex under city staff proposal

Just weeks after facing public criticism for not fully staffing its three fire stations, Bettendorf aldermen are poised to approve spending $35,000 a year to help pay the salary of a new marketing position primarily benefiting the privately owned TBK Bank Sports Complex.

The city would contribute $35,000 annually for "a minimum of two years" to "Visit Quad Cities" (formerly the Quad Cities Visitors and Convention Bureau) under the deal, scheduled for approval at tonight's (9/17) city council meeting.

"City staff was contacted recently by a group of invested parties, including Visit Quad Cities, TBK Bank Sports Complex, Cambria Suites and Middle & 80 Investors," City Administrator Decker Ploehn and Community Development Director Jeff Reiter wrote in their staff report to the council. "They have requested a collaborative effort occur to hire a sports development manager, to be employed by Visit Quad Cities, to further reach out and develop more tourism and business."

The amount of money to be contributed to the position by the TBK Sports Complex and other "invested parties" has not yet been determined, Reiter said.

Once the city approves its share, the other contributions will be determined, he said. The estimated annual budget for the position is $100,000. Visit Quad Cities is expected to fund the position's benefits and provide office space.

Two weeks ago, the council reviewed staffing of the fire department in the wake of criticism about lack of emergency responders at the Crow Creek Fire Station.

According to Reiter, the city’s portion of the funding would come from the city's hotel/motel tax.

Ploehn and Reiter called the deal a "win-win."

"While the TBK Bank Sports Complex is thriving, there is a desire to expand the reach and national presence," their staff report stated. "By doing so, greater numbers of teams, tourists, and consumers from outside the Quad Cities will come to Bettendorf, experience the community and infuse valuable dollars into our economy."

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