Scott County Supervisors Tuesday considered funding options proposed by the cities of Davenport and Eldridge that will improve access to areas designated for industrial development.

County Planning Director Tim Huey presented the cities’ plans to apply for RISE grant funding from the Iowa Department of Transportation for the reconstruction of Slopertown Road from Harrison to Division streets. The road that borders the Davenport Municipal Airport and the future Eldridge Industrial Park must be reconstructed to withstand the increase in work force and truck traffic expected when the Kraft-Heinz and Sterilite Corporation facilities open at the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center, Huey said. The City of Davenport estimates the cost of the project at $1.75 million.

Supervisor Diane Holst asked why the road had not been adequately maintained. “How did it get this bad and nobody did anything for 10 years?” Holst asked.

Huey said road construction was delayed because of the city's tentative plans to expand the airport. “”Up until Sterilite went in, the city planned a runway extension,” Huey said.

The planning director said the state of Iowa prohibits cities from creating islands of unincorporated areas surrounded by city limits and prevented Davenport from annexing up to Slopertown Road. The cities of Eldridge and Davenport will present a joint petition to the City Development Board for voluntary annexation of property 250 feet north of the industrial areas that is currently maintained by the county. The petition will be reviewed by the development board on April 12.

Supervisors also discussed a proposed amendment by the City of Blue Grass to the city’s Urban Renewal Area. The amendment would allow tax increment financing payments for storm water and sanitary sewer in Prairie Woods Estates' third addition residential subdivision. Both proposals were added to the agenda of the regular Board of Supervisors meeting set for 5 p.m. on Thursday.

In other business, Sheriff Tim Lane requested supervisors’ approval to hire three additional correction officers at the county jail. Lane said he needed the positions because of requested Family and Medical Leave for four correction officers and the anticipated resignation of two other officers by August. “Overtime is a consequence without overfill,” Lane said. “With extensive background checks and training, it takes six to seven weeks to replace correction officers.”

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