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Bettendorf residents have a couple more days to weigh in on a city survey asking them what kind of center, if any, they would be willing to support to replace the city's aging pool and life fitness and community centers. 

City officials said last week that they have received more than 700 responses to date, and hope to have nearly 1,000 responses from the 25,000 online surveys sent out to Bettendorf residents. The survey closes on Sunday, Aug. 4.

The survey was developed to help guide city officials as they consider a referendum for a tax increase to build some kind of new center, including a combination pool/aquatics center and scaled down community-fitness center that hasn't previously been discussed.

For more than a year, the city has been considering what to do with Splash Landing Aquatics Center, located at 2220 23rd St., as well as the Life Fitness Center, 2222 Middle Road, and the Herbert Goettsch Community Center, 2204 Grant St. All are at least 50 years old and soon will need about $3 million in updates simply to maintain them as they exist today, staff has said.

In early May, City Administrator Decker Ploehn recommended a $15 million bond referendum in November that, if passed, would have paid for a new, bigger outdoor pool to replace the existing Splash Landing.

Acknowledging that a consultant hired by the city had recommended both a new fitness/community center and an outdoor aquatics center, Ploehn said he thought it would be more prudent to tackle just the pool/aquatics portion first, and pursue the recreational/community center later.

But now a third option has surfaced — a pool/aquatics center with a scaled-down community/fitness center that would be heavier on the community than the fitness.

That is because some council members support more than just a pool, and they would like to do the project in one phase rather than coming back later to try to do the community/fitness center portion, according to park board minutes.

In addition, they want the emphasis on the community center component rather than on fitness because the city has many other fitness options, Ploehn said.

Question two on the survey addresses this, asking residents their opinion on the following:

• A new facility — as recommended by the Chicago architectural and design firm — that would cost about $40 million. The levy impact would be about $1.20 per $1,000 assessed valuation, or a tax increase of $150 annually on a home assessed at $235,000.

• A new facility with a pool/aquatic center and a community/recreational center with limited fitness options — as favored by some council members — that would cost about $26 million. The levy impact would be about 75 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation, or a tax increase of about $100 annually on a home assessed at $235,000.

• A pool/aquatic center — as recommended by Ploehn — projected to cost $15 million. The levy impact would be about 43 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation, or a tax increase of about $56 annually on a home assessed at $235,000.

No drawings exist for the second option, and there has been no discussion of what fitness options would be dropped, Ploehn said. If this option ultimately is chosen, specifics will have to be drawn up.

The question likely will be discussed during a joint meeting of the city council and park board in late August, Ploehn said.

At this point, it is too late to put any referendum on the November ballot; the earliest this question could be considered now is probably March, he added.

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