RDA takes a cut to get casino project moving forward

Moving forward was the theme for the Riverboat Development Authority board meeting on Monday, November 18, 2013.

The RDA board met to approve a plan that they hope will get this project moving forward.  They say the deal is a fair offer to the city of Davenport.

“It’s is time to move on,” said RDA Chairman, Gary Mohr.

Moving on is a big reason why the RDA approved a plan that some say is a step in the right direction.

“It’s kind of a goodwill gesture on our part, to help the city, but to also move this project forward,”said Mohr.

The RDA already reached a deal with the developer Dan Kehl for 6.4 percent of the casino’s revenue. Now the RDA is giving up 0.4 percent of that to the city of Davenport.

“For us to give a piece of that up we felt was a good compromise,” said Mary Ellen Chamberlin.

RDA would pay the 0.4 percent for a casino development district for the next eight years, equaling out to be $2 million dollars for Davenport.

“We could afford to give the 0.4 percent for an eight-year period to try to get the city close to their 0.4 percent originally requested.  If that closes the deal, it’s well worth that,” said Mohr.

The RDA is hoping to get this agreement approved so they can get the casino project over and done.

“Most of my board members did not sign on for this. They signed on to review grants and give away the money we got from the casino,” said Chamberlin.

Davenport would have to approve the RDA’s agreement when city officials meet Wednesday, November 20.  Then the agreement can be presented to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission for approval at their meeting Thursday, November 21.

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