City of Bettendorf, Iowa

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Community Profile

Bettendorf, Iowa (Scott County) population from the 2010 Census 33,217  
 
Brief History: Bettendorf, Iowa lies in an area this was the original Wisconsin Territory, which was purchased from the Sac and Fox Indians in the Black Hawk Purchase in 1832. The area was opened to homesteaders in 1840. The original town on the site was named Lillienthal, after an early tavern and dance hall owner. The town was renamed Gilbert in 1858, honoring Elias Gilbert, who platted the original town. At that time, the residents, who were predominately German, were employed as farmers, skilled laborers, and small business operators.
 
At the turn of the century, William and Joseph Bettendorf proposed to the townspeople that they would move their iron wagon business from Davenport to Gilbert if the town would purchase the old Gilbert farm for them as a location for their factory. Donations were solicited from area residents and businesses to raise the $15,000 to purchase the property and the factory was moved to Gilbert. In January of 1903, the town of 440 citizens petitioned for incorporation, requesting a name change to Bettendorf in honor of the brothers whose factory was so important to the early development of the city.
 
When the City of Bettendorf was incorporated in 1903, a year after the Bettendorf brothers moved their factory to the City, the population was 440.  Growth was slow in the early years.  At the time of World War II, there were still fewer than 4,000 residents.  Rapid growth in manufacturing and general business activities caused an acceleration of population growth in the 1950's and 60's.  In 1948, the opening of the Alcoa plant, which is located in Riverdale, was particularly important to the City's growth.  Bettendorf more than doubled its population between 1960 and 1980. 
 
Form of Government: Bettendorf has a Mayor-Council form of government. The Mayor and Council members serve four-year terms on a staggered basis. It is the responsibility of the Mayor and Council to choose a City Administrator. The City Administrator is a full-time, salaried employee who manages the administrative functions of city government, while the Council acts as the law-making, policy-forming body.
 
There are seven Council members: one for each of the five wards and two at-large members. Other municipal officials, such as the Director of Public Works, City Attorney, and the heads of the various boards and commissions are appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council. The Police Chief is appointed by and serves at the discretion of the Mayor. The Library Board of Trustees hires the Library Director. (Source: City Code of Bettendorf Iowa)
 
The City Council holds its regular meetings on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 7:00 p.m.  Committee of the Whole meetings are held at 5:00 p.m. on Monday prior to the regular meeting and on the fourth Monday of each month, if necessary.  All meetings are held at Bettendorf City Hall, 1609 State Street, 2nd floor/Council Chambers.
 
Geography: Bettendorf is located at latitude 41 degrees 32 minutes north, longitude 90 degrees 30 minutes west, at an elevation of 565 feet on the southeast border of Iowa on the Mississippi River. It is within 175 miles of Chicago and Des Moines, within 360 miles of Kansas City and Minneapolis, 300 miles from Omaha and 250 miles from St. Louis.

Bettendorf has a temperate continental climate with a wide temperature range throughout the year. The average winter temperature is 26.7 degrees and the average summer temperature is 70.9 degrees. The mean annual temperature is 50.1 degrees. Precipitation is usually well distributed throughout the year with an average annual rainfall of 32.79 inches and an average annual snowfall of 30.6 inches.  According to the National Climatic Data Center, substantial weather changes frequently occur at three- or four-day intervals, as a result of the area being in proximity to some of the most important storm tracks.

Technology: Bettendorf is one of a few cities in the world to have a city-wide fiber optic network available for business use. 
 
Bettendorf is a proud recipient of the Intelligent Community Forum's - Smart21 Intelligent Communities Award for 2007.  This honor recognizes Bettendorf as one of the world's top communities for using broadband telecommunications as a means for enhancing economic development and social progress.
 
Businesses have access to multi-redundant gigabit ethernet boasting the ability to deliver fiber directly into their buildings.
 
All City buildings are interconnnected via the fiber optic network saving hundreds of thousands of dollars for local citizens. 
 
Two K-12 school districts, as well as an area community college, link within their own systems and to the internet using the city owned fiber network, again saving significant tax dollars.
 
Education: There are two public school systems serving the City of Bettendorf, both of which are highly regarded for the quality of their programs, staff, and facilities. The Bettendorf Community School District has six elementary schools, one middle school, and a four-year senior high school. The high school is a five-building complex located on a 60-acre site. The eastern part of the City is served by the Pleasant Valley Community School District, which includes a four-year senior high, a junior high, and four elementary schools. There are also two private schools in Bettendorf. Lourdes Catholic Elementary School has a pre-kindergarten through grade eight enrollment. Rivermont Collegiate, a college preparatory day school, has a preschool through grade 12 enrollment.
 
Another agency serving the educational needs of the community is the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency. The agency, which is located in Bettendorf, provides special and general education services to local school districts and approved non-public schools in Cedar, Clinton, Jackson, Louisa, Muscatine, and Scott counties. Administrative services include assistance with the strategic planning process, administrator searches, personnel and business matters as well as communication workshops. 
 
Parks and Recreation: Leisure services and facilities for all age groups include: Palmer Hills  Golf Course, an 18 hole golf course; a full service restaurant located at the golf course; Splash Landing, an outdoor heated family aquatics center;  Life Fitness Center; the Veterans' Memorial Park Bandshell; over 700 acres of park land throughout 24 different park sites; two boat launches and docks (Leach Park and Eagles Landing); 7.8 miles of fitness and recreation trails; and 7.3 miles of separated trails. A complete listing of parks, programs, and facilities is available on-line or by calling 563-344-4113.