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Government

R.I. May Hire Manager for Downtown

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Rock Island may bring in some outside help to manage its downtown. Monday night the city council will consider hiring the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce.

Mayor Mike Thoms says this public private partnership would be similar to partnerships already in effect in Davenport, Bettendorf, and Moline. A key responsibility for the chamber's downtown manager would be to improve relations with businesses and business owners.

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"Sometimes we all focus on the businesses down there but in a lof of cases the people that own the property are different, the landlords. And so we want to improve our relationship with both sides."

The proposed contract would last for two years, and pay the chamber a total of 230,000 dollars.

Thoms says the money would come from Rock Island's downtown tax increment financing district. Other priorities for the new manager would be promoting the downtown for visitors, and working with the city's downtown task force on improvements such as lighting and landscaping.