I am a proud board member of the Quad City Veterans Outreach Center. This is an all-volunteer organization which serves the needs of over 1,000 local veterans registered with our services. Over the last year we have met with a local builder who proposed buying the Lincoln School for $290,000. His planned development would provide apartments in a community setting for our veterans in need and put money back onto the tax rolls to help support our financially-challenged school system. He put money and time into this plan, but upon final presentation was denied the purchase. Instead the school board sold it for $30,000 to a church.
Recently, information from the closed meetings was reluctantly released. In it were accusations that the builder was not genuine in his desire to provide housing and insinuating he could put a strip club in it. They also accused him of using our Veterans Center as a front. This is the mentality of some of the current members and its president.
This builder is a family man who had three sons in the military. His goal to provide a safe and supportive environment for our veterans is genuine.
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So let’s weigh this current decision by our school board: $290,000, housing for veterans, revitalizing a neighborhood and money back onto the tax rolls versus $30,000, no real plans for its development and no money back onto the tax rolls. You do the math.