Bettendorf’s mayor and city council members would get pay raises under a proposed city ordinance that was discussed briefly during Tuesday night’s committee of the whole meeting in City Hall.
Under the ordinance, the mayor’s pay would increase by $10,000 — from $15,000 annually to $25,000. Council members would get a pay bump of $1,000 per year, bringing their yearly pay to a little less than $7,800.
The ordinance is on track for its first reading Wednesday night. The city council has to vote on it three separate times over the coming weeks for the ordinance to become law.
If enacted, the raises would kick in January 2020. The next municipal election is in November.
The matter of higher pay for elected city officials was one of several topics discussed during the city’s yearly goal-setting meetings. Considerations around the salary adjustments have included the long time since pay was increased, comparison of elected officials’ pay in other similar cities and the amount of time Bettendorf’s elected officials spend doing their jobs.
City Administrator Decker Ploehn said the mayor’s raise would be the first in 40 years. The pay scale for city council members has remained unchanged for nearly 20 years. Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher has welcomed the raise, though he’s said he didn’t run for the position for the money.
In other news:
Public hearing to be held on downtown tax
A public hearing on a special taxing district for Bettendorf’s downtown is being held Wednesday night. Jeff Reiter, the city’s economic development director, told council members that the Downtown Bettendorf Organization is well over the minimum threshold of petitioners needed for creating the district and he expects more people to sign on in the coming weeks.
The proposal is similar to taxing districts in Davenport and Moline, where property owners petition for an increased tax levy in a specific area to go toward projects in their own backyards.
Under the current proposal, an additional tax would be created for downtown commercial, industrial and multi-residential property owners at $2.75 per $1,000 of assessed value. If approved, money generated by the taxes would be managed by the Downtown Bettendorf Organization and go toward enhancing the downtown area.
Current outlined plans for that money include creation of a website, work plans for future capital projects, graffiti removal and additional cleaning.
Recreational trail on Spruce Hills Drive moves forward
Aldermen advanced the initial plans and work contract for the proposed recreational trail along Spruce Hills Drive between Utica Ridge Road and 18th Street to the council’s consent agenda for Wednesday night.
Under the proposed plans, the trail would be installed over two construction phases and face a completion deadline of June 2020. About 4,600 feet of existing sidewalk is to be replaced by 10-foot-wide concrete trail intended for multiple uses.