Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Anti-Bettendorf Rant

The thing that got me thinking about this again was this QCTimes editorial about the QC Sports Center, believe it or not. What really got my goat was this 15+ year old quote:

“Where do we draw the line?” former Bettendorf alderman Joe Douglas said in a 1994 council meeting. “I’m not sure we should be bankrolling the facility. There are many types of projects that benefit the Quad-Cities as a whole. Each city funds these projects on their own without funding from other cities.”

Yes... each city provides things that benefit the QC as a whole. Or at least, that's how it should work. In reality, what does Bettendorf bring to the table? I count a total of one QC-wide amenity, which is the Family Museum. I'm not talking things like libraries and parks, which all of the QCs provide, but metro-wide amenities like the Figge, Botanical Center, or iWireless Center.

Bettendorf is around 1/3rd the size of Davenport, and 3/4 the size of each of the cities of Rock Island and Moline. Does anyone believe that Bettendorf provides 1/3rd as many QC amenities as Davenport, or 3/4 as many of the amenities as Rock Island or Moline provide? This doesn't stop them from using all of the culture and amenities that the QC has to offer to market to and attract residents to Bettendorf, of course.

Then there's the additional factor of Bettendorf having a meager fire department and relying on Davenport's help for anything larger than a dumpster fire. I'd imagine it would also cost Bettendorf quite a bit to build their own Sewer Treatment Plant rather than using Davenport's. So they take advantage of these things provided to them by their larger neighbor, which allows them to keep their taxes low, which they then use as a selling point when luring away Davenport's residents.

I suppose the main thing that bothers me is that Bettendorf is essentially leeching off of Davenport. Their "Premiere" city could not keep its taxes low and provide the quality of life that many of its citizens want without Davenport. Yet on the other side of the coin, Davenport would actually be in much better shape without Bettendorf siphoning off Davenport's wealthier citizens and potential residents.

Bettendorf wouldn't be as good without Davenport.
Davenport would be better without Bettendorf.
Maybe they should change the name of their tiny riverfront recreation area to Leech Park.

Friday, January 22, 2010

2 Links Open Thread

A couple quick things this morning:

As the blurb in the QCTimes mentioned, the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau has redone their website again. It looks really good and has a ton of great info, but my favorite part is the "Ask a question" section where you can type in a question about the QC and they do their best to answer it. There's also an archive of some of the questions asked, and their answers. Its always interesting to see what outsiders want to know about the Quad Cities.

The other thing is the new Facebook page for the Hilltop Campus Village. There's alsoa website, but its in its very early stages and still being worked on. So if you're on Facebook, and support the Hilltop area of Davenport, please become a fan.

Other than that, open thread.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A few more downtown images

The Blackhawk Hotel renovation is coming along, including all new windows. Anyone know whether they're going to stay white or be painted?

The new 7th Judicial District building towering over the current one, and downtown's (relatively) new Crescent Cleaners location.

I've always loved both the law offices just east of Brady, and this huge residence on East 6th Street. Hopefully with Palmer's growth, the Crescent Warehouse District, and the CityView nearby, this neighborhood just north of downtown can really take off as well. There are certainly plenty of potential infill locations. I've already heard a rumor of a new eating establishment coming to Brady.

A different view of downtown, mostly featuring the Blackhawk and MidAmerican buildings.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Forrest Block Progress!

Never have I been so happy to see a building get boarded up. Its not usually a step forward, but in this case it takes the Forrest Block building from bombed out post-WWII Germany to merely 2000's Detroit abandoned building. Now the building is at least shielded from the elements, and hopefully real progress will start being made. I took a few more pictures this morning, but I'll save those images for tomorrow.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

2010 New Year's Wish Lists

Over the years I've been writing this blog, I've occasionally come out with a list of New Year's wishes for the Quad Cities. Other years I intended to, but never got it done. For reference, here are 2006 and 2008's wish lists. Apparently this is an even year tradition. So, here we go with the 2010 Quad City Images New Year's Wish List. In the past I've done a small number of more ambitious wishes, so this year I'm going to change it up and do a list of things, both probable and improbable.

In no particular order:

-WIU QC's riverfront campus makes good progress
-Amtrak to the QC begins construction
-The Forrest Block stays on track the rest of the way out
-Downtown Moline's Kone Centre begins construction
-Davenport finds a new casino operator willing to invest in downtown
-The Blackhawk Hotel continues its redevelopment into one of the highlights of downtown Davenport
-A new mixed-use building is announced for downtown Davenport
-Another major downtown residential renovation somewhere in the QC
-Continued progress on Prairie Heights, including the new library
-A (relatively) problem free construction season for the sewer tunnel
-Davenport and the QC surprise many with a big 2010 census population increase
-More money comes in for the new I-74 bridge
-A new employer brings 500+ new jobs to the metro area
-The (slightly) new council continues being professional and productive
-All this snow doesn't cause major spring flooding
-A continuing decrease in crime
-Non-stop flights to Phoenix from QCI Airport
-Dave and Busters comes to the QC! (unlikely)
-Davenport and Rock Island host a riverfront New Year's part for 2011
-Calm and logical debate about Davenport's one way street decisions
-No more big layoffs or closings
-Better marketing and positive national exposure for the Quad Cities
-That I don't take a month off from blogging next year!

That's it for this year. If I missed anything major I'll add it later. Feel free to add your own wish lists in the comments.