Amid its budget talks, the Scott County Board of Supervisors has been asked to financially support the new Scott County Family Y in downtown Davenport.
At a board meeting Tuesday, supervisors were updated on the new $20 million project that will replace the current downtown Y. In the presentation, the Y's CEO Brad Martell and Ed Rogalski, the campaign's chair, sought a $50,000 pledge from the county.
Martell said the campaign also is approaching Davenport for a $50,000 contribution, but a presentation planned for Tuesday's council meeting was postponed after weather canceled the meeting.
The city and county's contributions would be the local match to a $500,000 Community Attraction and Tourism, or CAT, grant the Y is seeking next week from the state, he said.
"Our downtown facility is 60 years young and very tired," said Rogalski, also a former president of St. Ambrose University.
The new site, on the former W.G. Block Co. property across from the Quad-City Times, would emphasize development of downtown's east end and help the Y's outreach into the adjacent Cork Hill neighborhood. "This new Y is located around more children than where the present Y is at," Martell said.
He said a market study estimates the new facility will draw an additional 4,000 to 6,000 members to the downtown facility, which already serves 6,000.
Though smaller in square footage than the existing Y, the new 70,000-square-foot facility would be more efficient and offer more amenities, including two pools, an indoor walking/running track, a gym and a rooftop group exercise looking out at the Mississippi River. It also would be used by the Y Early Learning Center already on the site.
"This would be a wonderful gateway to the east end of town," Rogalsi said. He added the public portion of the fundraising campaign is $10 million toward a $12 million goal. The Y kicked off the public portion of the campaign in October.
Supervisor Ken Croken said by supporting the Y, the county also can address a growing problem of juvenile delinquency by providing resources to youth. "An investment in the Y is a prudent way to consider our public safety reform. We can build larger detention centers or we can build Ys," he said.
But Croken questioned if the county should be pledging more than the $50,000 as it did back when the Y built its Bettendorf facility. "I'd like to see us make a bigger pledge or pledge over multiple years," he said.
Mary Thee, human resources director/assistant county administrator, said her predecessors have indicated that back then the county had an excess fund balance it was spending down.
In an interview Wednesday, Martel said the county donated $350,000 in 2000 as part of another capital campaign that included not only the Y but improvements at Camp Abe Lincoln and the downtown Scott County Family Y. County officials said the donation was paid over four years.
But this year, the county is facing a tight budget that could include a possible tax hike to help cover a request for increased manpower in the sheriff's office and an increase in mental health funding.
David Farmer, the county's budget and administrative services director, said the $50,000 Y contribution is in the proposed county budget as part of the capital budget.
Martel said the plan is to break ground in September or October with an opening in December of 2020 or January of 2021.
In other business:
New permits: The board discussed a new proposal to require all subcontractors to obtain separate permits when working on behalf of a general contractor or property owner. Planning Director Tim Huey said the county is the only local jurisdiction that does not require a separate permit for subcontractors, who have been covered by the general permit.
He told the board the change would allow for better tracking and monitoring of the subcontractors. It also would increase permit revenue for the county, which Huey said could offset the costs of adding another building inspector to the department.
The county also does inspections for five of Scott County's smaller cities and keeps the permit fees rather than charging the cities for the service, he said.
Union contract: Mary Thee told the board that staff has negotiated a three-year agreement with AFSCME Local 606.
The new agreement includes general wage increases of 2.25 percent, 2.5 percent and 2.25 percent, respectively, over the next three fiscal years. AFSCME represents 92 clerical and maintenance staff. The board will vote on the contract at its meeting Thursday, Feb. 7.