The developer and city officials have found common ground so development of a new land-based casino can begin in Davenport, Iowa.
The city, the developer and the Riverboat Development Authority have presented a variety of visions for the plan to create the new casino, and debate over those plans has stretched on for more than a year.
When a new development agreement was presented to the council’s Committee of the Whole on November 19, some thought a consensus had finally been reached. Instead, the vote on the deal was split 5-5. That sent the developer to the November 21 Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission meeting without a deal to present.
Developer Dan Kehl went to the commission meeting anyway, and said he thought there were still realistic options available to him to buy Rhythm City Casino so he can move it off the riverfront and build a $110-million complex along Veterans Memorial Parkway in Davenport.
Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba said he wanted the deal to include more money from the casino for local non-profit organizations including the charities and museums.
Gluba announced November 25 that he reached an agreement with Kehl to work cooperatively to maximize the value of the gaming license in Davenport. Their agreement included an increase in the amount of the money Kehl would give to charities in Davenport.
“This million-dollar commitment will provided dedicated funding to Davenport charities, in advance of the increased revenue expected from a land-based casino approved through a joint development agreement between the city, RDA and Scott County Casino,” Gluba said.
Gluba said the charities that will get the additional funding are Humility of Mary Shelter, Humility of Mary Housing, Kings Harvest Ministry, Cafe on the Vina dn Father Conroy’s Vineyard of Hope.
The contributions were expected to begin in 2014 after the Iowa Racing and Gamin Commission approves the final agreements for the sale of Rhythm City Casino.
The casino development agreement is on the agenda for the November 26 Davenport City Council meeting.