sports complex

Plan submitted for first commercial development at sports complex; Middle and Forest Grove Road intersection upgrade yet to be finalized

Plans for two commercial buildings and a restaurant – part of the sports complex at Middle and Forest Grove Roads – are headed for Bettendorf City Council approval, but improvements to that key intersection have yet to be finalized by the city.

Iowa awards up to $2.5 million in sales tax rebates to sports complex; annual sales projected at $7 million

The Bettendorf sports complex under construction at I-80 and Middle Road was awarded up to $2.5 million in state sales tax rebates recently (10/11) based on the developer's estimate more than $66 million in sales will be generated over the next 10 years by the project.

Bettendorf sports complex building permits $8 million less than specified in development agreement

Building permits issued for the Bettendorf sports complex at Middle and Forest Grove Road total $38 million, some $8 million less than the $45 million value specified in the agreement with BettPlex developer Douglas Kratz.

Meanwhile, the cost of city infrastructure – sewer lines, stormwater facilities and street improvements to serve the 79-acre complex – is expected to be well above the $3.87 million specified in the same development agreement.

The sports complex builder, Build To Suit of Bettendorf, obtained the building permit August 28. The permits listed the building cost of $28.6 million, electrical work $4.11 million, heating/air conditioning $1.85 million and plumbing costs of $950,000, for a total value of $35.5 million. Two months ago, the developer obtained a permit for the sports complex foundation for more than $2 million.

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.

Bettendorf betting $11.2 million on sportsplex to kickstart development at I-80 and Middle Road

After secret briefings given Bettendorf aldermen in mid January, the city added $11.2 million in bonds to its proposed budget to pay for roads, sewers, stormwater detention and developer loans and rebates for a sports complex at Forest Grove and Middle Road.

According to documents and emails obtained by Bettendorf.com through a Freedom of Information request, city officials in those non-public sessions discussed with aldermen the impact the sports complex would have on next year's capital improvement plan (CIP), city tax levy and debt margin.

The project was outlined a month later at a news conference Feb. 17 by Mayor Robert Gallagher and developer Douglas Kratz, but aldermen have yet to publicly discuss the sport complex plans or its financial impact on city finances at an open city council meeting.

'Sports complex' allocated millions in proposed city budget; project yet to be publicly discussed

The proposed Bettendorf city budget would allocate more than $15 million to build a "sports complex" that has yet to be discussed publicly by aldermen.

The budget – which will be discussed at an all-day public work session Saturday (2/11) – includes $2 million for purchase of land for the "sports complex," more than $2 million for roads, lighting and sewer extensions for the project, and lists the issuance of $11.2 million in debt (bonds and notes) to finance the facility construction.

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