Davenport City Council Set To Pay Millions For Elmore Extension

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The City of Davenport has to foot a nearly $4 million bill.

On Wednesday, October 14th, 2015, Davenport City Council will vote to approve an "economic development incentive payment of not-to-exceed $3,965,000 related to the Elmore Avenue South Extension Project (one phase of a two-phase project)."

The payment is the first of two for the $13.8 million project. It includes the construction of North Elmore Avenue up to Veterans Memorial Parkway, then up to the new Rhythm City Casino. The project also includes grading the surrounding area for more development.

According to city leaders, the city will pay the bill by issuing general obligation bonds. Those bonds will be paid back by property taxes from the casino development alone. Alderman Ray Ambrose tells News 8 that taxpayers will not foot the bill.

"A lot of people were concerned if it was going to have an impact on their taxes, but I think when it's completed - if this is as successful as we're hoping - the community might possibly see a property tax break," said Ambrose.

City leaders say the Elmore Avenue Extension Project will open up 250 acres for development and development in that area is projected to increase the city's property tax base by $250 million.

Alderman Ambrose says that also means hundreds of jobs.

"The number one priority for the community that we found out from our citizen survey is jobs and this is going to be a stimulus for 1,000 new jobs," he said.

The deal to pay for the Elmore Avenue Extension Project was worked out by former City Administrator Craig Malin.