EAST MOLINE — Developers of The Bend have rescinded their offer to sell the city of East Moline 3 acres of land at The Bend on the Mighty Mississippi.
At the last council meeting, aldermen voted to approve purchase of the parcel, known as Murphy Park, for $1. The site includes an outdoor amphitheater.
"That was the initial discussion," Doug Maxeiner, city administrator, said at Monday night's East Moline council meeting. "That got approved at the COW (committee-of-the-whole) and was going to move forward to the city council meeting, but the developer changed his mind. They found something in the tax code that they could keep their exemption, and they are retaining that."
Maxeiner said the purchase agreement that was discussed at the last meeting no longer was being considered.
Council members made no comment regarding the situation during the council meeting.
Plans to bring the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival to the Bend will take a lot of work and need to be done in a short window of time, Maxeiner said. He said the city had less than 30 days to get everything organized, including coordinating with other police departments in order to get the needed protection for the events going on in town that weekend.
"The police department got a call Friday, I got a call today; it completely caught me off guard, so I didn't know anything about it until today," Maxeiner said. "They are advertising that it has been approved and it's going forward, and we haven't had any discussions yet so."
He said the hours of the event would need to be condensed and a noise ordinance would need to be put in place. Maxeiner said since it was a major event, it might have to come in front of the city council for a vote.
In other business:
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- The "interim" tag has been removed from Maxeiner's title, as he was officially hired by the city of East Moline following a closed session at the last city council meeting. His agreement took affect on May 26.
His employment contract states he will make $150,000 annually, and will receive 17 days of paid vacation. Starting Jan. 1, 2020, he will receive 20 vacation days annually. His contract runs through April 30, 2021.
The contract also states that because Maxeiner lives less than one mile outside of the corporate limits of the city, he would be allowed to remain living there for the duration of this contract. However, if he were to sell his residence, he would be required to move into city limits within six months of selling his residence.
If Maxeiner were to be terminated from his contract early, he would receive 20 weeks of compensation, so as he is not terminated for misconduct.
Previously, Maxeiner had served as the city administrator for the city of Moline. When he first started in May 2017, his salary was $157,500. According to Moline's 2019 budget, Maxeiner's salary had risen to $162,515, including benefits and an annual automobile allowance of $4,800.
Maxeiner's departure from Moline netted him severance pay of about $62,505, and payout for unused and accrued vacation time. His departure was mutually agreed upon between the city of Moline and Maxeiner.
- Following Monday's closed session, council members voted 7-0 to pursue the purchase of property at 3936 4th St. The property, if purchased, would be used to help with drainage issues in the area.
Currently, the property is in foreclosure with the bank, Maxeiner said.
- Results of a $44,000 study conducted by IMEG of Rock Island to look at ways to alleviate flooding is slated to be on the next city council agenda, according to Tim Kammler, director of engineering services.
Kammler said it looked as if making the needed updates to alleviate flooding could cost nearly $2 million.