The City of Bettendorf has launched a community campaign for The Landing project to raise additional funding and demonstrate the community support that exists for the future aquatic facility and ice skating rink.
According to City Administrator Decker Ploehn, the city had applied for a $1 million Enhance Iowa grant from the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDEA) to help fund the $19.6 million recreation project.
But earlier this month when city staff and representatives from the YMCA of the Iowa Mississippi Valley met with Enhance Iowa board members, they learned that the board’s staff was recommending a $750,000 grant award for the project. In addition, the board wanted to see more community participation in the fundraising.
The board encouraged the local leaders to launch an individual donor campaign. Mr. Ploehn told the QCBJ in an interview on Friday, May 26, that the local campaign “is not in the rules,” but the board said that traditionally every grant recipient has a community campaign component.
The city, he said, thought the fundraising it had already done on the project showed the community’s support. To get the project to the starting line, the city and the YMCA each contributed $6 million to The Landing. Other gifts included: Scott County Regional Authority, $4 million (its largest single grant, payable over 12 years); Riverboat Development Authority, $1 million (its largest single grant); Bechtel Trust, $450,000; and Scott County, $50,000.
To receive an Enhance Iowa project, the applicant also must show the project has county support, Mr. Ploehn said.
In an open letter and its messaging across social media recently, the city urged residents, businesses and other supporters to show their support with a private donation.
“We are asking you to consider donating as an individual to this campaign to help us receive that grant and close the gap on the funding needed for the project,” Mr. Ploehn wrote in the letter.
Donations are being accepted through the YMCA, the city’s partner on the project. To donate, visit https://www.ymcaimv.org/the-landing-community-campaign/.
Since the new campaign launch, 88 donors have committed to $3,957 and donations still are coming in, Mr. Ploehn told the QCBJ.
The Landing, which is set to break ground on Friday, June 2, during Bettendorf’s 120th Birthday Bash, will be a state-of-the-art recreational facility at Middle Road and 23rd Street and replace the city’s Splash Landing and Frozen Landing facilities.
As part of the funding, Bettendorf and the YMCA of the Iowa Mississippi Valley also have applied for a Community Action and Tourism (CAT) grant from IDEA.
City and Y staff are scheduled to meet again Thursday, June 1, with the Enhance Iowa board to report on the community campaign.