Originally Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2012, 9:37 pm
Last Updated: Nov. 15, 2012, 11:43 pm

Davenport aldermen approve board structure for proposed casino

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By Stephen Elliott selliott@qconline.com

DAVENPORT — Aldermen on Thursday night approved directing the city's administrator and attorney to create a nonprofit board of directors to oversee a proposed land-based, city-owned casino.

Aldermen have given Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba permission to negotiate the city's purchase of Rhythm City Casino, owned by Isle of Capri, for $46 million. City officials say the transaction could close by mid-2013, with a land-based casino open by 2015.

The new casino's initial board — appointed by the mayor and city council — would consist of the city administrator, the police chief, an alderman and four members of the community.

Thursday's motion included approving the proposed bylaws for a nonprofit entity, the Davenport Community Improvement Corp., to oversee casino operations. The motion directs city staff to file articles of incorporation to create the DCIC.

It also included an amendment by Ald. Jeff Justin, 6th Ward, to have two of the public members appointed by the DCIC instead of the mayor and council, one each after 60 percent and 80 percent of the debt is retired on the estimated $48 million in bonds the city will use to finance the project.

"The reason to do that is to provide more oversight and less control from the city's perspective as our risk is retired," Ald. Justin said. "As we pay our debt down, we'll give a little bit more control back to the board (DCIC) itself."

Ald. Bill Boom, 3rd Ward, said the amendment was suggested by Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission members "in the interest of making sure there's separation between the operation of the casino and the city of Davenport.

"This is a prudent move," Ald. Boom said.


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