Mini-Golf Course-002

The area for a proposed mini-golf course next to Modern Woodmen Park.

Kevin E. Schmidt, QUAD-CITY TIMES

The Quad-Cities River Bandits ownership group's proposal for a miniature golf course on the Davenport riverfront is not yet a done deal, but some members of the City Council have indicated a willingness for the project to move forward.

Aldermen had the opportunity to weigh in on the proposal during Tuesday's management update meeting after the Riverfront Improvement Commission requested their input on terms and conditions of a potential lease.

"I think it's a great project and I'm excited," Alderman Ray Ambrose, 4th Ward, said. "I don't want to have the city so overbearing on this project that it doesn't work out."

The proposal includes the construction of an 18-hole, nearly 20,000 square-foot, ADA-accessible course out by behind the Ferris wheel and scoreboard at Modern Woodmen Park.

The project, estimated to cost $600,000, would be paid for by the ownership group and the city would maintain ownership of the land. Under the proposal, the group would pay for all improvements, maintenance and repairs and would only receive revenues generated from operating the course.

The commission voted 10-0 last month to move forward with the concept so that lease terms could be drawn up for consideration.

Given that the lease would likely be longer than three years, the commission asked the council to provide any input for terms or conditions it thought would be prudent to add.

The commission has the power to approve leases less than three years in length. Leases longer than three years require additional approval from the council to move forward.

The council did not add any conditions Tuesday to the 10 points the commission had determined. A few of the concerns some of the aldermen voiced were already included as conditions.

Alderman Marion Meginnis, 3rd Ward, shared concerns of residents in an email read by 5th Ward alderman Rita Rawson which included maintaining access when baseball games were not being played.

In meeting with the commission months ago, River Bandits' co-owner Dave Heller indicated that the course would be operated even when the baseball season was over so that it could attract more people downtown.

Some conditions include the city not being liable for damage caused to property due to it sitting upon sewer infrastructure and softening the fence height to not reduce sight lines.

Initial consideration of a lease could come before the commission in two weeks with a vote tentatively scheduled for its Dec. 19 meeting.

If there are no delays, the council could discuss and vote on the lease as early as its first cycle in January.

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