Local effort to land Boeing about 2 weeks late

2013-12-27T05:15:00Z 2013-12-27T05:15:31Z Local effort to land Boeing about 2 weeks lateKurt Allemeier kallemeier@qctimes.com The Quad-City Times

A letter signed by Quad-City mayors that went out earlier this week to the governors of Iowa and Illinois asking for help in submitting a proposal for an airplane plant that would employ 8,500 is about two weeks late.

The deadline for submitting proposals to Boeing to build a plant for its 777X was Dec. 10, according to news reports, with 22 states submitting 54 potential sites.

The letter signed by Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher, Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba, East Moline Mayor John Thodos, Moline Mayor Scott Raes, Rock Island Mayor Dennis Pauley, Rock Island County Board chairman Phil Banaszek and Scott County Board chairman Larry Minard was sent out Monday.

The Associated Press reported the company already has begun notifying states of their status on the list of sites being considered.

Iowa wasn't invited to submit a proposal but has asked Boeing if an opportunity remains to be considered, said Tina Hoffman, spokeswoman for the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development has submitted several "compelling" proposals to Boeing, spokeswoman Izabela Miltko. The state has a non-disclosure agreement with the aerospace company.

"We think we have several locations that qualify but can’t disclose them," she said Thursday. "We haven't received any direct indication from the company."

Quad-Cities First tracked the highly charged union negotiations between Boeing and the machinists union that spurred the sudden search for a new production site. Among the physical requirements were significant acreage that is adjacent to an airport with a 9,000-foot runway and access to rail.

Quad-City International Airport has a 10,000-foot runway, while Davenport Airport's longest runway is 5,500 feet, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Boeing also is seeking significant financial incentives.

"Quad-Cities First went after that one to see if we met the standards of their project," said Paul Rumler, who leads the economic development agency. "It comes down to having a site that meets it. Right now, we are limited in our abilities to meet that requirement."

The letter, on Bi-State Regional Commission stationery but penned by Davenport City Administrator Craig Malin, lays out the Quad-Cities' assets, including rail, air, water and interstate transportation, an AAA-bonded state and Alcoa Davenport Works. Alcoa Inc. is a principal supplier to Boeing.

"We have asked the Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce and our bi-state economic development organization Quad-Cities First to collaborate on this initiative, and we commit all our shared economic development resources to this effort," the letter states.

Gluba admits the letter is a shot in the dark, but he hopes it spurs future collaboration when big opportunities like the Boeing plant arise.

"This is a good way to think and learn," Gluba said. "These are bold things you have to do — throw things against the wall and see what sticks."

Banaszek, the Rock Island County Board chairman, said that when he was approached seeking support for a project that could bring in 8,500 jobs, he said it was a "no-brainer" to sign the letter. He wasn't told that the submittal deadline had passed.

"That is why we employ the services of Bi-State and the chamber so hopefully we can be more fully in the loop," Banaszek said.

Rumler, who recently took over Quad-Cities First, thinks the idea behind the letter is a positive one.

"Right now, we’re saying the Quad-Ciites has the facilities and should be considered for large manufacturers who want to come back to the United States," he said. "We are ready to collaborate.

"We need to put the Quad-Cities in a position to succeed in these types of projects. We need to invest in land or infrastructure or find ways to collaborate in a region like ours."

Copyright 2016 The Quad-City Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(18) Comments

  1. Downtrodden
    Report Abuse
    Downtrodden - December 28, 2013 10:19 am
    Davendorf(k)? Bill Gluba is the Best Mayor in Davenport's history. Did you see him get re-elected by a 2-to-1 margin against his last opponents? If you see a lightbulb out, get off your rear end and change it yourself, don't rely upon government to do everything for you. You are the definition of a taker, sitting on the sidelines waiting for your handout.
  2. Davendorf
    Report Abuse
    Davendorf - December 28, 2013 7:44 am
    Gluba not Clubs. Stupid spellcheck
  3. Davendorf
    Report Abuse
    Davendorf - December 28, 2013 7:41 am
    The city of Davenport was GIVEN illuminated street signs at the intersection of Brady & Kimberly. Now that the bulbs have burnt out Gluba cannot even change a lightbulb. I believe the bulb went out in this Mayors office a long time ago.
  4. Davendorf
    Report Abuse
    Davendorf - December 28, 2013 7:34 am
    Clubs cannot even fill a pothole:http://m.qctimes.com/news/local/gluba-potholes-reaching-crisis-proportions/article_e893eab5-82d2-50a0-8fc0-4c4422ae665e.html?mobile_touch=true
  5. Orpheus
    Report Abuse
    Orpheus - December 27, 2013 12:10 pm
    Leave it to the Quad Cities. Always a day late and a dollar (or thousands) short...
  6. gemax
    Report Abuse
    gemax - December 27, 2013 11:12 am
    Among the physical requirements were significant acreage that is adjacent to an airport with a 9,000-foot runway and access to rail.

    Quad-City International Airport has a 10,000-foot runway, while Davenport Airport's longest runway is 5,500 feet, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
  7. Mark Riley 4 State Senate
    Report Abuse
    Mark Riley 4 State Senate - December 27, 2013 9:43 am
    Untill Federal legislation is passed errecting tariffs to protect our worker from the globalization of labor in which companies like John Deer, Catipilar, Quanex(nichols aluminum), Alcoa and Boeing shop their factories to the cheapest labor market on the planet while asking the American military and Families to protect the sea lanes and commerce with their dollars and blood, this errosion of the middleclass will continue.

    This is not about bidding for Boeing factories this is about doing what the old slave state S.C. did in helping a company break a union with tax dollars and "right to work" status.

    Boeing is rufuseing to deal with the rejection of its contract by the majority of sane and normal workers in Washington state. We should not let our own greed help to ruin the attempts by other Americans to earn a living wage.

    Adam Smith paraphrased "the managers always complain about how much money everyone else is making off the corporation(labor, suppliers and taxes) but never consider their own profits as subject to question"
  8. Klaatu
    Report Abuse
    Klaatu - December 27, 2013 8:37 am
    It was a fantasy and nothing else anyway. The NIMBY's and corporate taxmongers would have went ballistic over the incentives necessary to get Boeing.
  9. Constitutionalist
    Report Abuse
    Constitutionalist - December 27, 2013 8:23 am
    Interesting statement about Cedar Rapids long john, could you please provide some sources to back your statement up. I'm not saying I don't believe you but I never knew Cedar Rapids employees were so gifted.
  10. longjohn412
    Report Abuse
    longjohn412 - December 26, 2013 11:35 pm
    Iowa wasn't invited to submit a proposal

    End of story
  11. longjohn412
    Report Abuse
    longjohn412 - December 26, 2013 11:22 pm
    Well I didn't hear you or anyone else mention doing it before this either .....

    Besides it's not like we actually have a shot at this, most of the labor skilled enough to do this is already employed by the Arsenal or Alcoa and 8,500 skilled jobs is a lot to fill and we simply don't have the infrastructure in place to expand the skilled workforce by that much in such a relatively short time period .....

    If Boeing ever contemplated moving to Iowa it would most likely move to the Cedar Rapids area where the highest concentration of skilled technical labor is located in Iowa .....

  12. longjohn412
    Report Abuse
    longjohn412 - December 26, 2013 11:12 pm
    Doesn't matter since the Iowa Quad Cities doesn't have a large enough airport and likely never will ..... It's not like you can put the finished product in a semi truck or even a train and ship it to the customer ....

  13. TruthOnlyBeTold
    Report Abuse
    TruthOnlyBeTold - December 26, 2013 9:44 pm
    "This is a good way to think and learn," Gluba said. "These are bold things you have to do — throw things against the wall and see what sticks."

    Yes, bold and late. I guess nothing is going to stick this time.
  14. TruthOnlyBeTold
    Report Abuse
    TruthOnlyBeTold - December 26, 2013 9:26 pm
    Boeing has a plant in Charleston, SC. They work on the 787.

    http://www.boeing.com/boeing/commercial/charleston/
  15. Constitutionalist
    Report Abuse
    Constitutionalist - December 26, 2013 8:50 pm
    Is this the plant that they were going to build in South Carolina but the union and the Obama administration stopped because it was a right to work state? If so, I was just wondering because Iowa is also a right to work state.
  16. Hereandhere
    Report Abuse
    Hereandhere - December 26, 2013 5:04 pm
    I would question whatever Quad City Economic Development Group or Chamber that all the cities and counties pay thousands annually, as to why this was not pursued in a timely manner. Boeing has this project on a fast track and it should have been the lobbying groups that knew what each state was doing.
  17. PainfullTruth
    Report Abuse
    PainfullTruth - December 26, 2013 4:58 pm
    Did anyone expect anything different? I'm sure most of the mayors were "busy" lobbying foreign countries to invest here and was unavailable. Besides, do you really think that the Quad Cities had a chance? Look at the fertilizer plant in Davenport, the pork plant in East Moline and Fareway in Rock Island if you want any examples of failed leadership.

    I find it really funny that none of the mayors realized the due date of the letter, but then again when has a mayor met a due date.....
  18. QC Father
    Report Abuse
    QC Father - December 26, 2013 3:50 pm
    Way to go QC "Leaders".
    We didn't NEED them 8500 jobs here. We are just fine with our summer detassling jobs, our fast food jobs. WTG !!
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