First Davenport City Council gathering since partial building collapse

Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 1:16 AM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The Davenport City Council held it’s first official meeting since the partial collapse of “The Davenport.”

During the meeting, a fiery public comment section, where residents were able to directly face their elected officials for the first time since the collapse that claimed the lives of three people.

Beforehand, dozens of residents gathered outside city hall hoping to have their voices heard.

One protestor, Nolan Kostka, wanted accountability.

“There was too many chances where they could’ve saved people here,” Kostka said. “They failed a lot in many regions. People are dead because of it now. They need to be held fully responsible for what they did.”

Aldermen J.J. Condon, Tim Kelly and Derek Cornette were the only three to directly address the collapse during their opening comments.

“My heart’s broken,” Condon said. “I know yours is too. Please know that all of our hearts are collectively broken.”

Many people like Angela Kostka rallied outside and asked for more transparency during public comment.

“I am very concerned with the future,” Kostka said. “I don’t feel safe as a resident if something like this happens again. The response was not put out there right.”

Others, like Lacanna Dixon, vowed to vote differently next election cycle.

“You want people to vote for you, right?” Dixon said. “Come out there and stand with the people who voted for you.”

Most of them seek change to prevent another tragedy like this, and justice for the victims who are now displaced.

“If we want to keep some wealth in our community, let’s just start enforcing stuff better,” one resident said.

Moving forward, residents like Michael Ross, want city officials to be more present as the community looks to heal.

“I am also grateful to [Alderwoman] Judith Lee who stood there in solidarity, while all you cowards didn’t do nothing,”

The rest of the agenda mostly listed city business unrelated to the collapse.

The council did vote for a resolution that would use COVID relief funds to establish an assistance program for those displaced by the collapse. The program allocates $600,000 for residents and businesses of The Davenport as well as those in adjacent buildings impacted by the partial collapse.

It will be on the agenda for next week’s full city council meeting.