Residents come out for and against Rhythm City

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DAVENPORT - Residents spoke their mind at the first city-wide public forum Monday night on Davenport's interest in buying the Rhythm City Casino.

About 100 people came out to the Adler Theatre. Some in attendance say the process for buying the casino has moved way too quickly.

The city announced Oct. 16th it was interested in buying the casino. The city wants to buy the casino from the Isle of Capri Corporation for $46 million. It plans on paying $3.5 million annually in bonds to the Isle of Capri for 20 years.

Restoration St. Louis is one of the companies interested in developing the casino. It wants the casino to move downtown to spur more economic growth.

"A casino downtown will sell redevelopment like a grocery store, restaurants, and all the rest of that," Restoration St. Louis President Amrit Gill said. "That will strengthen your assets including the Quad City Events Center, the Adler Theatre, the Quad City Symphony, all those things."

Other developers have been interested in putting the casino along Interstate 80. Some in attendance feel like they need more time though on deciding whether moving the casino would be a good idea.

"It was only announced last week," Davenport resident Steve Robinson said. "Why does it have to be settled in two days? My basic question is, 'what happened to due diligence?' he asked.

The city says it has spent the last five years deciding whether to buy Rhythm City. It plans on voting on the measure at its city council meeting Wednesday. The city wants a land-based casino built by 2015.