Davenport mayoral hopeful Matson wants more answers to determine long-term flood strategy

4 The Record

Permanent floodwall is not in his plans

Davenport alderman and candidate for mayor Mike Matson joined 4 The Record this week. This is the second part of that interview.

It doesn’t matter who’s running.

Even when there were six candidates in the race, all of them expressed the goal to improve the local economy.

That’s development.

Here’s something that came to light recently.

A study from Wallet Hub rated the fastest growing cities in the country from one to 515, with Davenport rated as one of the slowest growing cities in the country at 512.

Matson discussed how troubling that is and what he can do to change it.

Let’s switch to a topic that affects the economy. That’s flooding.

It happens to some extent every year.

This year’s damage in downtown was devastating.

It brought back questions of a floodwall.

Matson said this in September at a mayoral candidate forum when asked about that: “I’m not a fan of a floodwall because I don’t want to put taxpayers in debt to $207 million. We don’t have that in our CFP. We don’t have a budget for that.”

So we asked Matson how much the flooding threat hurt Davenport’s chances of attracting a big economic investment.

Neither Matson or Rita Rawson support a permanent flood wall, but what does Davenport need to do to prevent anything like what we saw this year from happening again?

The Downtown Davenport Partnership indicated the flood could cost $30 million in lost revenue and wages for businesses.

Matson addressed when a floodwall is cost effective, what the riverfront’s role is in the city, how much it needs to be protected from flooding, and if it is okay for spots like LeClaire Park to be sacrificed year after year.

Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you.  It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.

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