Bettendorf City Council

Bettendorf eyes spending $61,000 to prove Trump's 'Buy America' requirement a bad deal for taxpayers

Bettendorf aldermen are considering spending $61,000 to prove President Trump's "Buy America" requirement is a bad deal for local taxpayers, costing tens of thousands of dollars more to build the free-standing elevator connecting the Mississippi River recreation trail with the new I-74 Bridge.

Bettplex developer states he's 'offended' by city 'worrying about less than $600,000 of cost overruns'

Bettplex developer Doug Kratz – signing emails "frustrated" and demanding city legal staff rather than his attorneys draft revisions for an amended development agreement – stands to get an additional $1 million subsidy from city taxpayers for his sports complex.

The amended development agreement – scheduled for consideration by the city council Tuesday (March 5) – increases the city's cap to pay for streets, sewers, sidewalks and storm water infrastructure at the sports complex from $3.78 million to $4.65 million.

Bettendorf City Council planning to maintain same tax rate, but higher assessments would increase residential property taxes by 5 percent

Bettendorf aldermen are expected to approve a new budget Tuesday (3/6) which maintains the existing tax rate thanks to higher residential property assessments and a successful early retirement offer projected to trim the city payroll by $730,000 annually.

The council already has approved the first reading of fee increases for solid waste (5 percent), storm water (8.5 percent) and sewer (7 percent) services.

Facing a projected $912,000 budget deficit in coming year, Bettendorf officials recommend 10% increase in residential property taxes

Calling it a "perfect storm" that created a $912,000 projected budget shortfall, Bettendorf city officials are recommending the council hike property taxes 10 percent in the coming year, plus increase stormwater fees 8.5 percent, sewer fees 7 percent and solid waste fees 5 percent.

The increase in property tax would mean the average resident with a home assessed at $215,000 would pay approximately $147 more annually. The higher sewer, stormwater and solid waste fees for an average user of those services would see an approximate annual increase of $31.

Bettendorf taxpayers to pay far more for sports complex streets, sewer and stormwater detention

Bettendorf taxpayers will pay far more for streets, sewers and stormwater detention than the $3.87 million stipulated in the contract with the Bettendorf sports complex developer.

In private 3-on-3 meetings with aldermen July 5, city officials outlined a summary of estimated infrastructure costs for the sports complex showing construction bids received so far are $844,000 above the cap set in the development agreement between the city and developer Douglas Kratz.

Mayor enlists friends to lobby fellow city council members; push for city sports complex incentives

Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher – apparently fearing fellow city council members might reject millions in taxpayer funded incentives for a proposed sports complex – sent an email to friends and associates last week urging them to lobby the city council in support of the venture.

"I have learned that people who detract from projects organize and gather to be heard," Gallagher wrote in the email. "While those who trust their elected officials and support wonderful projects, usually don’t make it a point to be heard. That is human nature. I need you to please be heard on this one!"

Gallagher attached a copy of a "city incentive versus city benefits" memo which claims the $45-million sports complex would provide a $2.95 million "net benefit" to the city. However, the analysis failed to include an estimated $14 million in tax rebates the developers would receive under the 20-year Tax Increment Financing (TIF) deal.

City would give developers $14 million in tax rebates, plus $7 million in upfront incentives under sports complex deal up for city council approval May 2

Developers of the proposed Bettendorf sports complex would receive more than $14 million in property tax rebates over the 20-year life of the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) deal with the city. That's in addition to $7 million in upfront incentives from taxpayers contained in a development agreement on the fasttrack for approval by the city council Tuesday (5/2).

In a "talking points" memo given aldermen by City Administrator Decker Ploehn, the city claims the "net benefit" from the sports complex (if a 100-room hotel is built) would be $2.95 million. However, the "city incentives vs. city benefits" overview fails to include 20 years of "incremental taxes" which will be rebated back to the developers.

Without the TIF, those "incremental taxes" from the development would otherwise go to the city, the county and the Pleasant Valley school district.

Bettendorf alderman submits resignation effective year-end; Mohr elected to state house in November

Bettendorf Alderman Gary Mohr will step down from his at-large council seat Dec. 31 following his election to the Iowa House of Representatives in last November's general election.

The resignation creates a one-year vacancy, which can be filled by either an interim appointment by the council or by a special election.

In accepting Mohr's resignation letter at its Nov. 15 meeting, the council did not discuss which method the city would choose to fill the opening.

City administrator, five council members rack up $684 food tab at swank Des Moines restaurant

After hearing presentations on "The Leadership Role for City Officials" at the annual Iowa League of Cities conference in September, Bettendorf's city administrator and five aldermen adjourned for dinner at the 801 ChopHouse Restaurant, a downtown Des Moines steakhouse "modeled after the classic New York steakhouses of the 1920's," according to its website. Very expensive also would describe the restaurant.

Jumer's Castle Lodge owner seeks 100% tax rebate for 10 years for redevelopment of hotel property

The owner of the vacant and dilapidated Jumer's Castle Lodge in Bettendorf would be given a full rebate of all property taxes for 10 years under a proposed development agreement scheduled for consideration at next week's (July 5) city council meeting.

The agreement and proposed Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) ordinance have been given aldermen for review and the council is expected to set a date for a required public hearing on the redevelopment plan.

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