The City of Clinton has voted in favor of selling city-owned land to the YWCA of Clinton for supportive housing. The project has been a controversial issue among city council members and some residents of Clinton.
“I have been steadfast against this project,” said Rhonda Kearns, a Clinton Council member. “It made it even worse when the city offered up a park, one of our oldest parks in Clinton. I do not feel that a permanent supportive housing unit is a sustainable project for our YWCA.”
Council member Rhonda Kearns was one of three votes against the land being sold to the YWCA for supportive housing. “Unfortunately, if the YWCA does not succeed for 34 years with this grant, they have to pay $4.4 million dollars back to the state,” Kearns said. In a city council meeting Tuesday night, members of the community and city leaders spoke about the pros and cons of the controversial housing project. Public comments during the meeting lasted for more than three hours.
“Most of the comments that we had was because it was a city park,” said Scott Maddasion, mayor of Clinton. “There is a precedent that the whole block was a park at one point. Half of it is a city parking lot now that is used for all of the businesses and city hall. The other portion is another lower income housing development.”
Council members in favor of the project say problems will still exist whether or not the supportive housing project is completed. “The homelessness is still going to be existence,” said Bill Schemers at the city council meeting on Tuesday, a Clinton council member. “The crime is still going to be existence. If that doesn’t get built out there, there’s still going to be crime out there. So, who’s going to be held accountable? The YWCA for building it?”
Mayor Scott Maddasion is excited for the project’s future. “The next steps would be to get the purchase agreement and the development agreements signed,” said Maddasion. “The YWCA would then have to start the process with their different Phase 1 and Phase 2 allocations, and then get to the point where they’re able to start construction.”
Our Quad Cities News has reached out to the YWCA of Clinton for comment on the project, but had no response as of Wednesday evening.