The Davenport City Council unanimously approved restoring the Credit Island Lodge on Wednesday and was met with applause from supporters.

The $1.2 million plan would restore the lodge and install flood vents to allow floodwaters to move through the building. In the end, the council sided with the Friends of Credit Island by a 10-0 vote, made without comment.

"It feels great that the council voted in favor," said Mary Cormier, secretary of Friends of Credit Island. "From the beginning, we weighed everything, but (State Sen.) Joe Seng said for more bang for your buck, rebuild.

"The day it burned, I cried," she said. "Today, these are happy tears."

She said rebuilding the lodge will return some respect to the island. Covered by four floods this year, firefighters were hindered in battling the May 2 blaze because of sandbags and Hesco barriers that surrounded the building.

Alderman Nathan Brown, 1st Ward, who pushed for the task force, said supporters were worried by outside grumblings.  

"It was a concern, and they love the island," he said. "I am excited about moving forward with the more concrete steps."

The second floor wouldn't be part of the remodeling at this time because the Friends of Credit Island organization plans to raise funds to finish the project.

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The city is expected to receive $1.2 million in an insurance payment for the building that was heavily damaged by a May 2 fire. About $30,000 already has been spent on preliminary design work. Engineers examined the building after the fire and determined the walls are structurally sound.

Public Works Director Mike Clarke, who oversaw the lodge task force, expects work to be completed by next summer.

"I think by the Fourth of July, we'll have a big ol' party out there," he said.

Before the vote, Dale Hendricks made the final pitch on behalf of the Friends. The group also proposes a small museum to explain the island's history and reference the life-sized statues representing Georges Seurat's pointillist painting, "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte."

"We think if the lodge is not rebuilt, the park will fall into disrepair," he said. "We can restore interest in the public and show what Davenport looked like a long time ago."

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