Bettendorf School District Community Forum

August  22, 2014

       The future of playgrounds, tracks, and tennis courts is up to residents in one local school district. On Monday, the Bettendorf School District will hold a community forum to discuss a possible Public Education & Recreation Levy, or PERL.

      Superintendent Theron Schutte began looking into the tax last year. That's when the district found out it would cost about $1 million to make its 6 elementary school playgrounds safer and handicap accessible.

      "The challenge is that these types of projects, like playgrounds or tennis courts, or tracks--which are the primary focal areas of these funds--do not rise to a priority level where they compete very well against the larger scale projects that we have needs for in the district, which is usually adding classrooms onto the buildings and that sort of thing."

      The Bettendorf School District has spent $30 million on building improvements in the past 5 years. But Schutte says the PERL levy could pay for playground upgrades and a new tennis court and track.  The proposed levy is 13.5 cents for every $1,000 in property value. 

      "The time has never been better given the fact that our strong fiscal position in the district has allowed for us to decrease school-related property taxes by upwards of a dollar in the past two years," Schutte says. 

      The community forum will be held Monday at 6 p.m. at Bettendorf Middle School.

       Residents will vote on the Public Education & Recreation Levy September 9th.