Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2012, 7:08 pm

Former Jumer's CFO hired to help Davenport with casino plan

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By Stephen Elliott, selliott@qconline.com

Davenport has hired a former chief financial officer of Jumer's Hotel and Casino to help with a city-owned land-based casino proposal.

Davenport city administrator Craig Malin said the city has hired Gary Buettner, a former executive vice president at Jumer's. Davenport Ald. Raymond Ambrose, 4th Ward, said Mr. Buettner comes with strong credentials and recommendations and will be paid $150 an hour.

Ald. Ambrose said Davenport's casino plan has drawn much attention. Davenport has signed an asset purchase term sheet to buy Rhythm City Casino from Isle of Capri for $46 million. To cover the cost, the city would issue $48 million in bonds to be paid off over 20 years at a cost of $3.5 million per year.

The city is seeking requests for proposals from developers on the project by Dec. 20.

"The cost of government continues to rise," Ald. Ambrose said. "It's almost out of control.

"The city of Davenport is in a unique opportunity, probably unlike any in the U.S., to diversify its revenue stream (with a new casino)," he said. "I know a lot of people are a little skeptical. We're working hard to answer those questions to reassure people we're going to try and remove any risk we can if we move forward on this."

The Riverboat Development Authority, which holds Rhythm City Casino's gambling license, is scheduled to meet at 4 p.m. Friday at New Ventures Center, 331 W. Third St., Davenport, to discuss its members' questions and concerns, according to RDA president Mary Ellen Chamberlin.