Originally Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2012, 11:56 pm
Last Updated: Oct. 22, 2012, 11:57 pm

Moline School Board learns of property purchase

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By Nicole Lauer, correspondent@qconline.com

Moline School Board members on Monday reviewed real estate items that will affect the district's future.

Chief Financial Officer Dave McDermott informed board members that last week the district bought the property at 1010 14th Ave., Moline, for $50,000. Mr. McDermott said the district first tried to buy the property near Lincoln Irving Elementary in February. The district plans to tear down the structure there and create green space, he said.

Part of the strategic plan is to create as many four-section elementary schools as possible, which requires acquiring more land for future construction. Mr. McDermott said buying the needed properties is a long process and may take up to 10 years or more.

Board members also learned its property tax revenues could rise because of a Black Hawk College land proposal. Moline School Board members were shown BHC's proposal to build two student housing near BHC's Building 3 and future health science building.

To comply with state law, BHC would have to transfer the land -- located in the Moline School District -- to the Black Hawk College Foundation, which then would work with a developer. Mr. McDermott said BHC is proposing 100 percent tax abatement through the first five years of the project. After that, tax abatement would taper over the next five years from 80 percent in year six to 20 percent in year 10.

Currently, the Moline School District receives no tax revenue from the property because it is owned by BHC, a public taxing body, Mr. McDermott said. Transferring the land to the foundation would bring property taxes back into play, he said, and the district could come out ahead after the abatement period.

"We have no reason not to support them on this," Mr. McDermott said. He noted the plan is extremely tentative.

Board members also reviewed the successes of the current strategic plan with the aim of moving forward with a new, shorter-term focused plan.