Supporters of Credit Island Want Fire-Damaged Lodge Back

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Supporters of Credit Island Park in Davenport say they want the Lodge back after it was badly damaged by fire earlier this month.

The fire happened on May 2nd, 2013 and could be seen from downtown, Davenport three miles away. The Fire Marshal says the Lodge was burning for 30 minutes before someone in Rock Island noticed it and called the Davenport Fire Department.

The result was a lot of damage and now a newly-formed Credit Island Task Force will decide what's next.

"I have a lot of respect for Credit Island," says Davenport Resident Mike Peppers. "I would like to see the Lodge rebuilt."

But it's not as easy as Peppers makes it sound and during a community meeting on Tuesday, May 14th, 2013, First Ward Alderman Nathan Brown explained why.

Under new federal regulations, anything built that costs more than half of the old building's assessed value is considered a new building and requires some sort of flood protection to be built around the new building. Credit Island Lodge was assessed at around $600,000, so if the city were to built anything that costs more than roughly $300,000, they would also have to pay for flood protection.

Some are asking - is it worth it? On Tuesday, May 14th, 2013, the Mississippi River was at 15.94 feet, which is just about a foot above flood stage. Credit Island Park was water locked. Still, those who came to Tuesday's meeting say they shouldn't let the river rule Credit Island's future.

"I think it's important to just reassess what did happen here and what didn't happen," said one speaker. "Credit Island did not succumb because of the flood."

"As far as letting the river run through it, it's been doing it since 1922," said another.

"All of Downtown Davenport is in a flood plain," says Peppers. "I mean, we get flooded everywhere so it ain't just Credit Island."

Repairing the Lodge is another option since the first floor is still structurally sound, but the Fire Marshal says the fire destroyed the roof and badly damaged the attic and second floor.

Alderman Brown says the Credit Island Task Force will be in charge of gathering all options, then making a recommendation to City Council. He hopes that recommendation is presented at the Council's first meeting in August.