Four flood-prone homes along Bettendorf's Duck Creek have been purchased in an ongoing buyout project, with the Bettendorf City Council on Dec. 15 approving a contract for asbestos removal in the homes after which they will be demolished.
Taylor Insulation, Davenport, will be paid $28,490 to remove asbestos from 1108 Parkway Drive, 1119 Crestview Court, 1124 Crestview Circle and 2601 Cypress Drive.
Earlier this year, the city received a $2.2 million federal grant that, coupled with state and city contributions, makes $2.95 million available to buy out up to 22 homeowners in the flood plain along the creek near Interstate 74.
Amounts paid for the first four homes indicate that the city is on track to buy them all with the money available, City Administrator Decker Ploehn said. The homes are being purchased at appraised values.
This is the second in what the city hopes will be more buyouts in the flood plain where homeowners have seen such steep increases in flood insurance that payments are no longer affordable. In addition, the location puts residents at personal risk and subject to property damage.
The city previously identified about 360 single-family homes in regulated flood zones and, of those, pegged about 80 for buyouts based on their being the "first to flood" according to elevation.
Ten were purchased and demolished in 2017, with the area made into green space.
In other business the council:
• Approved a resolution to abolish the five-member elected park board and replace it with an appointed advisory body that could be more gender-balanced and diverse. The move also would reduce duplication of effort, since the City Council approves major park changes and expenditures anyway.
And it would save about $35,000 annually, including about $19,225 in salaries paid to commissioners and about $15,000 in staff time to provide operational support.
A public hearing on the resolution will be Jan. 5.
• Approved the purchase of 1.9 acres of land on the west side of Middle Road between Hopewell and 53rd avenues to use for storm water detention, thereby reducing flooding downstream and building capacity for detention upstream as development continues to occur.
BESW LLC will be paid $373,900 for the tract it it originally proposed as the site of a three-story, 54-unit multi-family townhouse. That proposal was opposed by residents of the single-family housing addition to the west.
• Approved seeking requests for proposals to build a new city website. The existing site was built in 2007 and is outdated, including old information, broken links and navigation steps that are not as intuitive as those available today.
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