Council Members to Talk Economic Development, Ballpark Improveme - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Council Members to Talk Economic Development, Ballpark Improvements

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Davenport city council members say they'll discuss moving forward with improvements to Modern Woodmen Park at Thursday night's committee of the whole meeting.

According to the committee of the whole agenda, city leaders will review a "resolution awarding the project and approving the contract for architectural/engineering services for the additional amenities of the Modern Woodmen Park facility to Bracke-Hayes-Miller-Mahon of Moline, IL, not to exceed the amount of $89,740."

Public works committee chairman Ald. Ray Ambrose said the money will be used to add new deck and seating areas to the park.

In the past, the River Bandits' owner Dave Heller has said there is a demand for more group areas at the park and that he was planning on investing $1 million of his own money in the project.

"To take what's already the best ballpark in minor league baseball and make it even better, even prettier, and take dead space that's not being used right now and make it not just functional, but really beautiful, it's great for the city, it's great for the team, it's great for the community and most of all it's great for our fans," said Heller in an interview on the subject last month.

Also on Thursday night's agenda – a preliminary plan to help fund an expansion at HARDI North America, an agricultural sprayer manufacture with its North American headquarters located in north Davenport. The city says the company is seeking state assistance for a 21,000 square foot expansion that would create 24 new full time jobs.

The city says because the state would provide economic development assistance, the city is required to do the same.

In an email Thursday morning, Susanne Knutsen with the city's economic development team said the state contribution for the HARDI project is estimated to be about $89,000 in tax credits. If the city approves financial assistance for the project through TIF like it wants to, the expected total of rebates is about $285,000, said Knutsen.

Knutsen added the new jobs are expected to be created over a three-year time period.

City council members will meet for Thursday night's committee of the whole meeting at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers.