‘Blood on your hands:’ Davenport residents, community demand accountability over partially collapsed apartment building
DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The Davenport City Council held its Committee of the Whole Meeting Wednesday night as demonstrators with signs waited beforehand in the streets outside city hall to enter the council chambers and voice their frustrations over how they say the partial building collapse at 324 Main Street, “The Davenport” has been handled by the city.
Wednesday night’s committee of the whole meeting was the first time city council has met since the partial building collapse and the council chambers were full with every seat taken and additional people standing in the back of the room.
During the committee of the whole meeting, the city council recommended discussion for several topics, some related to “The Davenport”, as well as allowing individuals to address the city council with a time limit of three minutes per speaker.
Several speakers at the committee of the whole meeting included family members, some related to some of the three deceased men, Branden Colvin Sr., 42, Ryan Hitchcock, 51, and Daniel Prien, 60, Lisa Brooks, Davenport community supporters for those affected by the collapse, and some residents who live in other properties of Wold’s, among others.
One item of discussion on the city’s agenda related to “The Davenport” was in Section VII., Finance, number three on the list, discussing the “resolution ratifying the Displacement Assistance Program related to 324 Main Street in an amount not to exceed $600,000,” in Ward Three.
In the meeting, city council motioned to adopt the resolution not to exceed $600,000. The $600,000 is part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) spending plan, to address transactional housing needs through the city’s replacement allocation.
According to city documents, per this resolution, the city’s Displacement Assistance Program provides grants in the following structure- resident households in 324 Main Street will receive $6,000, resident households in adjacent buildings evacuated will receive $1,000, store-front commercial businesses at 324 Main Street will receive $25,000, and adjacent store-front businesses that were evacuated and displaced will receive $5,000.
Before city council motioned to adopt this resolution, several questions were asked by council members, including “How did we get to this number of $600,000? And is this enough?” Concerns were also raised by some council members, saying “What if more problems come up?” There was also mention to take some funds from another unrelated project, but in the outcome, the result was six “no” votes and four “yes” votes from council members, making APRA spending to not exceed $600,000.
Additionally, on the agenda in Section VII., Finance, number six on the list, a motion to approve the annual renewal for the license and support of the city’s records management system, OnBase, in the amount of $63,455.65, in all wards.
The city council motioned to approve this with votes of all “yes”.
However, upon the council motioning to approve this, community members in the chambers asked if this was the same software that involved the discrepancy of a document being marked “incomplete”.
But, no response was given by city council members to answer this question.
After which, time was allotted for individuals to address the city council, and dozens took to the stand to voice their frustrations about how they say they feel the partial apartment building collapse has been handled by the City of Davenport and those involved.
Below, some of the videos of individuals addressing the council in frustration can be seen.
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