Wednesday, September 27, 2006

URTE, Brownfield Assessments, SSMID Discussed

Today's Southwest Business & Industry Meeting featured discussions on a wide variety of subjects, but most importantly it showed that stakeholders in this corridor are interested in growing their businesses and in continuing the clean up of this five-mile area along West River Dr.

Just like older residential neighborhoods in the city, the Southwest Industrial areas already feature existing infrastructure and easy access to major roadways (plus rail). Thousands work along this stretch of riverfront and major employers pump millions into our economy: SJ Smith, Sears Manufacturing, Nestle Purina, Kraft Foods, Nichols Aluminum, and numerous others are strong anchors for our city.

City staff discussed two programs that have been implemented to assist this area: the expanded URTE (Urban Revitalization Tax Exemption) Zone encompasses this area (including Rockingham, West River Dr., Concord and surrounding areas), as does the West Davenport Brownfields Assessment Project.

The URTE is an incentive that helps soften the burden of higher property taxes that might come from improving a given property, while the Brownfields Assessment Project is an EPA funded program that assists with environmental assessments for properties, which have significant implications for future re-development efforts in a given area.

Some concerns brought forward included the need for mowing in certain areas, including some city right-of-ways, as well as an assessment for truck routes along the older city streets. A desire to improve the out-dated gateway sign was also discussed.

Some talk also was brought forward regarding a SSMID self-taxing district for these folks; about half in attendance seemed to have interest. Other SSMID's in the city included: East Village, Downtown, and Hilltop. SSMID's generally fund improvements to a given area (i.e. flower baskets in downtown are paid with SSMID money).

Overall a good meeting, it was nice to see a fair number of business leaders in attendance. Also it was good to see representatives from city staff, DavenportOne, and Ald. Van Fossen participating as well. The meeting was one of a regular series of gatherings, organized by D-One, at various locations in the city.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Items of Note


The new Davenport city website is almost complete. I am told it will, most likely, launch by the end of the week or first of next week. The site will feature city documents, images, calendars, request forms/action center, staff contact info, payment center, videos of meetings, and much more! From what I have been told and previewed it looks like a great effort by the committee. I believe this will be a new tool that will help bridge the gap between city hall and the constituents. It should also make doing business with the city more effective and efficient. Hopefully (and I think it will be) this is one of many major steps by the IT Department to turn the tide for us on the technology front. The url will remain:, after the launch.


The Boy's and Girl's Club will have an open house and ribbon cutting at 3:30-pm Friday (Sept. 15th) at the Roosevelt Community Center. The RCC is a great anchor for the Garden Addition neighborhood and plays host to numerous community meetings and classes. Also, the RCC is next door to some of the best ball fields in town. The B/G Club is a great fit and we are fortunate to be forming this partnership.


RIVER-WAY 2006 is set for this upcoming weekend and River Roots Live is scheduled for Sept. 22-23. Hopefully these events will bring along some tourists and inject dollars in the hotel/motel tax coffers. RIVER-WAY will celebrate the 150-year anniversary of the first rail crossing over the Mississippi. RRL is a two-day music fest in LeClaire Park with a variety of acts, headlined by the Black Crowes.

More info on RIVER-WAY, click here.
More info on RRL FEST, click here.