As Mayor Frank Klipsch came to the end of his annual state of the city address, he summed up the city of Davenport in a few words: "thriving, vibrant and strong."

Despite the winter storm bearing down on the Quad-Cities, Klipsch recapped the past year Monday afternoon at the Rhythm City Casino Resort and lauded the city's ability to meet every one of its goals it put in place last year.

"Things are coming," Klipsch said. "People are wanting to move here. Events are coming here. The financial situation is really good. Our economy is growing, and it's continuing to grow."

While Davenport's budget for the upcoming fiscal year increased .7 percent to $210 million, its tax base is projected to increase five percent.

Those numbers, however, do not include the major projects of Kraft-Heinz, Sterilite Corp. and the arrival of a Costco Wholesale location.

"That's a small impact from Kraft, no impact from Sterilite and no impact at this point from Costco," Klipsch said. "This is just growing internally from what we are doing."

While Kraft and Sterilite have helped to fill up space at the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center, the city is also looking at another prospective certified development site out by Interstate 80 and West Locust Street.

Getting the process moving will allow the city to look 20 years ahead to attract more development opportunities.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, the city is exploring rebranding the area around the Rhythm City Casino Resort as Elmore Corners as it tries to attract more development near Interstate 80 and 74 interchange.

The city contracted with Vandewalle & Associates, Inc. to create an overlay district and will go through the plan and zoning process shortly.

Coupled with the construction of the TBK Bank Sports Complex down the road, Klipsch said it created an opportunity for both to thrive.

"We're going to have activity going on there and if we're not that far away from this kind of a complex, they can complement one another," he said.

With the former Rhythm City Barge now located in Keokuk, Klipsch also briefed the crowd on the progress of riverfront development.

Because of his travels with the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, Klipsch mentioned the opportunities to fund economic development and sustainability projects through outside investment.

While outside dollars could help to expedite the process, Davenport is also investing $6 million over the next six years its capital improvement program to help facilitate riverfront development.

This year, a multi-use space will be built out across from the Radisson Quad-City Plaza that could be used for food trucks, festivals and other events.

On top of what's already budgeted, the city is also looking ahead to planning the riverfront's future.

"We know we have a beautiful riverfront," Klipsch said. "We have nine miles of riverfront. We want to make it a world-class one and we have plans that are in place, working with the council and working with all of you, to make that happen."

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