The city of Moline has received a $100,000 grant to assist it in the planning of its next chapter of riverfront development.
Jeff Anderson, the city’s planner, said Moline is the recipient of a grant through the Illinois Community Development Block Grant IKE-Disaster Recovery Program. The disaster funding is the result of Hurricane Ike in 2008, which hit Texas before spawning severe storms in the Midwest.
With the funding, Anderson said the city intends to update the Moline Centre master plan as well as update the master plans for its adjacent riverfront neighbors — the Floreciente neighborhood on Moline’s west side and Edgewater, located on the east edge of Moline.
“Part of the success of what happened in Moline is the periodic updates of our plans and keeping projects in the pipeline,” Anderson said. “The way these projects take root is through the planning process. Not every project comes to fruition, but we need to have projects that are thought out and as well conceived as they can be.”
Moline Centre encompasses the John Deere Commons and downtown Moline. Floreciente is the Moline neighborhood between the Rock Island border and the i wireless Center and from the Mississippi River to 5th Avenue. Edgewater is the area that overlaps the new Western Illinois University-Quad-Cities riverfront campus to the East Moline border and runs from the river to 7th Avenue.
The city last updated its Moline Centre plan in 2001, releasing it in 2002. At that time, an update also was done to the Floreciente plan, which was first developed in 1994, he said. But the Edgewater Plan has not been updated since 1994.
“We thought it would be good to look at the whole riverfront,” Anderson said.
He added that many of the original projects conceived in those plans “have been worked on and taken care of,” including Bass Street Landing and the new Western Illinois University campus.
The grant award is one-third of the $300,000 that Moline applied for to conduct the study, he said, adding that as a result, “we’re looking at ways to modify the scope of the study or find additional funding.”
The IKE Disaster funds, distributed by the state, originate from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Rock Island County was one of a handful of Illinois counties eligible to apply. Hurricane Ike caused significant rainfall and some flooding in the state and other parts of the Midwest, Anderson said.
Janet Mathis, the executive director of Renew Moline, said the city and Renew “thought it would be prudent to take a broader scope” than just updating Moline Centre’s master plan.
“We need to even start looking at broader connections with East Moline and Rock Island on the riverfront,” she said.
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Mathis said Renew and Moline expects to put out a request for proposals, or RFP, soon to seek proposals from planning firms. She anticipates a firm might be hired by late March.
She added that the riverfront master planning is receiving a boost from a project that WQPT and The Moline Foundation have launched separately.
Joy Boruff, executive director of The Moline Foundation, said the foundation was able to secure a national foundation grant from an anonymous, private foundation for WQPT to conduct public visioning sessions. The sessions, which begin at 5:30 p.m. today at WIU, are designed to collect input from the public on what their vision is for the Moline riverfront.
Known as River Vision 2020, the project is designed to bring Quad-Citians, river users and community leaders together for what will be three public discussions.
With the future new Interstate 74 bridge, the impending arrival of passenger rail and other changes in downtown Moline, Boruff said, “We’ll have a lot of things coming in here that will be different.”
Mathis said the visioning sessions provide some synergies to the Moline riverfront study.
“It is their project, but we are hoping to use their information (as part of our planning),” she said.