Ready to take care of business with a future casino operator, the Davenport City Council wants to finish up old business with the current one.

Aldermen spoke favorably Wednesday night of the proposed development agreement with Scott County Casino LLC, led by Dan Kehl, the owner of Riverside (Iowa) Casino and Resort, but the city also needs to hash out a settlement related to a nearly decade-old development agreement with Rhythm City Casino owner Isle of Capri.

Under the agreement with Kehl's company, city officials estimate Davenport will earn $29.1 million over the next 10 years in property taxes and gaming revenue. 

"I think we have come up with an amicable agreement," said Ken Bonnet, the chief financial officer for Kehl's properties.

The council will vote next week on the agreement that would give the city 4 percent of adjusted net gaming revenue from the future casino.

"On first glance, it looks like we will do better than we are now," Alderman Jeff Justin, 6th Ward, said. He chairs the council's Finance Committee.

Concern revolves around the city's development agreement with the Isle of Capri dating to 2004. That agreement was for a $43.1 million project that included a 180-room hotel and casino and was estimated to bring the city $9.6 million in new revenue over 10 years.

Mayor Bill Gluba said the Isle has treated the city "shabbily" over the years. In 2008, the company announced it wanted to re-brand the Rhythm City as a Lady Luck casino and give it a $9 million face-lift. That prompted the city to look for a casino buyer. 

"We think we've been significantly damaged by them and we won't go away cheaply," the mayor said.

The city has hired a Des Moines law firm to negotiate with the Isle over the loose ends of that agreement. The priority from the city's standpoint was to reach an agreement with the new casino operator more so than with the Isle of Capri.

Aldermen worried that the city's outstanding negotiations might be a roadblock to Kehl completing the purchase of the Rhythm City from the Isle of Capri.

"We don't want to delay this project at all," Alderman Gene Meeker, at-large, said.

Bonnet acknowledged that the situation creates some difficulties.

"Whatever it takes to get the city and Isle of Capri to sit in the room and work out their differences would help," he said.

Justin said he thinks the Isle of Capri is ready to get the sale, pegged at $51 million, completed, while Alderman Bill Edmond, 2nd Ward, said the city is not an obstacle to making progress on the deal.

"The city of Davenport will be no impediment on this," he said. "Of the RDA (Riverboat Development Authority), city and IOC (Isle of Capri), we're the first to come to an agreement."

Kehl proposes to buy the Rhythm City Casino from Isle of Capri and build a $110 million casino along the Interstate 80 corridor. The agreement sets down requirements for a 30,000-square-foot casino with at least 900 slot machines and 25 table games along with a 95-room hotel.

The city and Davenport Community School District each would receive more than $900,000 each year, and Scott County would receive more than $300,000 in annual property taxes, according to the city.

"That is a significant financial impact for the area and governments that provide a lot of the necessary services in the community," city Finance Director Brandon Wright said.

(9) comments

Downtrodden

Thank you Mr. Gluba for being the best Mayor the City of Davenport has ever seen. I am glad your tenacity has more than doubled the City's take with the proposed casino development. Just think, if the RDA had half of your brains, the other developer would have given even more money into city coffers. But if you can't take a meal, have a sandwich. Thanks to your leadership, the City will hopefully also get what the Isle reneged on through their broken promises. I can't wait to vote you in for another term this fall!

snowman05

Is that you William?

longjohn412

Looks like the general consensus is we lie down and let another casino corporation break their promises without punishment ....

As long as you led Corporations run roughshod over you they will continue to do so and even worse .... Corporation are Bullies and you whoosies are gutless to do anything about it

RIC

"The city has hired a Des Moines law firm to negotiate with the Isle over the loose ends of that agreement."
Here we go again, another big expenditure for an out-of-city law firm to cost the City taxpayers more money when the City already pays a hefty sum for a staff of City Legal Department lawyers....why? Are they that incompetent?

Riverside Pride

What Gluba fails to realize is that all of those hopes and dreams for a bigger better casino in downtown Davenport, were just before the market crash. The IOC was favorable to all the great ideas being tossed around from the RDA, IOC and the city of Davenport. RC would have been bankrupt just like the President if they didn't tighten the reins and reduce spending like every other American and business owner did during that time.

Gluba and the city administrators need to be thankful that this process is so close and stop getting greedy just before the process is over. I'm begining to think that politics in this town are just as corrupt as Chicago!

schellekensr

Mr. Gluba is a sore loser, that is all there is to it. He was counting egg, selling the hide, and all the standard clichés. As with his and Mailin's foolhardy process of writing an educational grant without communicating with the school district, this glory grabbing act has fallen far short.

Gluba kept toting the $ 10 million amount, time and again. Yet, he never explained how the city could make that amount of money while at the same time paying for the purchase of the current casino, and at the same time building a $ 100 million new casino...

But that, I guess, is city politics...

snowman05

Gluba huffed and puffed but didn't blow the house down. Lets ask a logical question of the city here.


They were willing to take a strip club to the courts over and over, but they feel legally wronged by the isle and didn't take them to court till after a possible sale? Why!?

longjohn412

Why?

Probably because it;s easier to prove Breach of Contract after the contract is ended and has been fully broken-

They let the last Casino Crooks off on a free pass (President, now bankrupt) so it's no wonder these guys are trying to pull this nonsense. You sign a contract you are giving your word, you break your contract then you are a LIAR who can't be trusted ...

I'm just hoping the RDA didn't make the same mistake with Kehl although I have no reason to believe they are dishonest like most of the big outfit's ..... The one's that hire Lobbyist Criminals like Jack Abramoff .... He's not the only one by far just the only one they caught ...

snowman05

Yeah I'm sure that's why. They gave them a time table and they missed it. I understand you believe the city isn't culpable in this in any way.

They are just trying to make a buck after the fact. I wonder if this lawsuit would have come if the city would have gotten away with public purchase.

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