Doug Kratz

Bettendorf sports complex infrastructure costs reach $4.6 million; city has yet to seek any reimbursement for $760,000 overrun of development agreement

Eight months after the Bettendorf sports complex opened for business, the city has yet to determine how much developers will contribute to the $760,000 cost overrun for streets, sewers and storm water detention for the facility.

The city has paid $4.63 million for the project's entry roads, interior walkways, sewer and storm water facilities to date. That's $760,000 more than the city agreed to pay under its development agreement with BettPlex developers Doug Kratz and Kevin Koellner.

Sports complex owner wants extra large sign to make sure motorists will see from interstate

The sports complex being built at Forest Grove and Middle Roads is asking the Bettendorf Board of Adjustment to approve an extra large sign so motorists won't miss it as they whiz by on Interstate 80.

The sports facility – initially known as the Bettplex and recently renamed TBK Bank Sports Complex – wants a sign nearly four times larger than the permitted 300 square feet.

The city's board of adjustment will consider the request for a variance to permit the 1,146 square foot sign at its Thursday (2/8) meeting.

Bettendorf sports complex developers to get more than $7 million in upfront grants and loans; no plans to conduct 'due diligence' review of development

Even though Bettendorf will upfront more than $7 million in cash, grants and land acquisition to developers of a $45-million sports complex, city officials say they do not intend to conduct any detailed financial review of the project or project partners.

Asked via email if the city had in the past, or planned in the future, to conduct any due diligence review of the finances of developers involved in the project, City Administrator Decker Ploehn replied with a one-word answer: "No."

In past Tax Increment Financing (TIF) development deals, city officials have been unconcerned with developer finances because city tax rebates wouldn't occur unless the development was completed at the agreed upon investment by the developer.

If the project was not completed, city officials reasoned in the past, there would be no "incremental tax" to then rebate back to the developers.

However, the development package prepared by city officials and scheduled for a public hearing and approval May 2 by the city council, would provide $1.9 million in cash, a $4.9 million upfront grant, plus $600,000 to buy 10-acres from the developers when the building permits for the sport complex are issued this summer.

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