Clinton council thinks former Rhythm City barge could bring rocky waters to the city

Where the riverboat once was

CLINTON, Iowa – The Clinton City Council isn’t quick to jump at the chance to get the former Davenport Rhythm City barge for free.

The council will decide the fate of the barge during its committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday, April 11.

The 30,000 square foot barge expired its lease in Davenport on March 31 but still sits along the Mississippi River.

Mo Hyder, General Manager of Rhythm City said current owners of the barge offered to give it to Clinton free of charge but the city says it will come at a cost.

The cost to transport the barge to Clinton, dock it and run utilities could be well over $500,000 dollars.

“Basically to move it and get it into place we are estimating $400,000 and that’s from tugging it up through the locks and getting it here is $100,000. Then you have to have gas, sewer, water and electric and get that all hooked up and we haven’t even talked about getting inside of it,” said Clinton City Administrator, Matt Brooke.

Supporters say the barge would be a great addition to the community.

“Anything we can do to for the riverfront to attract people to it is a positive factor,” said Clinton County supervisor, Tom Determann.

The barge would be docked along the Clinton riverfront between the Showboat Theatre and Candlelight Inn.

Some city council members expressed concerns about taking ownership of the barge without specific plans and raised questions about potential competition between the barge and businesses already on the riverfront.

Brooke says the only possibility of the barge going to Clinton is if someone invests in it. If not, the city would be responsible for a hefty price tag.

The council will hear public input on the barge during its committee of the whole meeting at 5:30 p.m. on April 11.

Living Lands and Waters has expressed interest in the barge and could take it if Clinton decides not to.