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Plans for a new water park, an ice rink and a transformed Life Fitness Center in Bettendorf will soon take center stage when the Bettendorf City Council hosts a public hearing and discusses the proposed sale of the fitness center. That hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, at Bettendorf City Hall. On Monday night, Sept. 19, the council, acting as the Committee of the Whole, approved two resolutions setting the public hearing for the plans. The resolutions setting the Oct. 4 meeting are expected to be approved at tonight’s (Tuesday, Sept. 20) council meeting. For the past several weeks, Bettendorf has been introducing its plans for improving the city-owned recreational amenities at Middle Road and 23rd Street and developing a new attraction expected to be called “The Landing.” Plans include the community water park, ice rink and a YMCA-owned recreational center that, respectively, will replace the city’s Splash Landing, Frozen Landing and its Life Fitness Center. During the Committee of the Whole meeting, council members focused on two resolutions that center on the proposed sale of the Life Fitness Center to YMCA of the Iowa Mississippi Valley and the YMCA taking over operations of a new city-owned water park. Some of the details discussed with city officials, including City Attorney Chris Curran, were:
- The fitness center would be sold to the YMCA for $1.43 million, which is the assessed value of the center. During the meeting, Alderman Frank Baden said he heard several comments from members of the public that the $1.43 million sales price is too low.
- If approved, the fitness center sale could close by Dec. 15.
- If the YMCA takes over the center, it would offer tennis for 24 months, unless another tennis option becomes available. Under previous plans, the YMCA had discussed an 18-month guarantee for indoor tennis players.
- If approved, the YMCA would run the new water park under a 20-year agreement.
- The new YMCA-owned recreation center would continue to serve as a city emergency center and be open for city-run recreational programs in inclement weather. During Monday’s meeting, City Administrator Decker Ploehn told the council that he recalls the Life Fitness Center being used as an emergency center only once in the past 32 years.
- The cost of constructing the new water park is estimated at about $18.7 million. It is expected to be divided evenly from three sources: one-third from the city, one-third from the YMCA and one-third from private donors and grants. On Monday, Mr. Ploehn told the council the city has secured grant money through the Scott County Regional Authority and the Regional Development Authority for the project. He added that it appears “very positive” that the city could get additional grants from three other entities he did not identify. But he did add that “those boards have met and boards have approved it.” (The city also plans to use COVID-19 relief money to pay for its portion of the new water park.)
- Winter 2022-23: Bid process.
- January 2023: Recreational center opens
- Spring 2023: Construction begins.
- Spring 2024: New water park opens.