Davenport casino bills will total close to $600,000

2013-03-22T05:45:00Z 2013-03-26T12:31:25Z Davenport casino bills will total close to $600,000Kurt Allemeier The Quad-City Times
March 22, 2013 5:45 am  • 

Davenport’s due diligence costs from its attempted acquisition of the Rhythm City casino are expected to total near $600,000.

The city has paid $150,046.31 and is processing a $387,500 bill for accounting services, bringing the total to $537,546.31. Interim finance director Brandon Wright expects a few other bills to eventually bring the total to nearly $600,000.

Data generated through the due diligence process is expected to be applied to any land-based casino project presented to the city during the current search process to determine the financial impact on the city. The Riverboat Development Authority decided earlier this month that it would lead the process of finding a possible operator for a land-based casino.

Funding for the due diligence is paid for with capital improvement funds, Wright said. How it would affect other capital projects hasn’t been determined because future gaming revenue could be involved.

“We’ll wait a little bit to see what happens,” he said.

When the Quad-City Times asked for the name of the accounting firm that billed the city $387,500, Wright declined to identify the firm other than it was one of the “big four.” Those are generally identified as Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and KPMG.

The accounting company had demanded confidentiality as a condition of doing the work, which is a standard practice in projects such as this, city attorney Tom Warner said. If someone wanted to push the issue, the city would have to alert the company and give it the opportunity to get a court order to prohibit disclosure.

Costs already billed are $77,413.95 to Ahlers and Cooney of Des Moines for attorney fees, $49,627.29 to Public Financial Services for financial consulting, $21,341.20 for gaming consultant Gary Buettner, $1,165.12 for travel and $498.75 for lunches.

Editor's note: On Tuesday, March 26, 2013, the city identified the accounting firm as Deloitte and Touche after getting permission from the company to do so. The company’s bill will eventually appear among a list of city bill payments.

Copyright 2015 The Quad-City Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(33) Comments

  1. billy hoyle
    Report Abuse
    billy hoyle - March 27, 2013 12:03 pm
    I'll vote for him if he admits to being a coward for sending out info using other alderman's names......allegedly.

  2. Voice of Truth
    Report Abuse
    Voice of Truth - March 27, 2013 10:00 am
    DChick - agreed. But really, most all of the council should be rotated out of office. Almost all fell in step with Gluba and voted for spending the money and moving forward. Lemmings. Many of them participated in the "meetings" that took place and jumped on the band wagon about this issue.

    The only one that didn't fall into step, formed his own conclusion and could see that the City should not be in this business was Matson. He was the sole vote against.

    Keep Mike Matson, dump the rest.
  3. davenportchick
    Report Abuse
    davenportchick - March 26, 2013 3:14 pm
    Altogether now everyone Google "How to IMPEACH A MAYOR" and start proceeding on it NOW. IT IS POSSIBLE.
  4. Terry W
    Report Abuse
    Terry W - March 26, 2013 1:35 pm
    What a bunch of BS.......I regret the day I moved to this city, they take your money and give you NOTHING. I tell everyone I can to NOT move to Davenport. These City leaders are a joke!
  5. billy hoyle
    Report Abuse
    billy hoyle - March 26, 2013 6:59 am
    Long story short - it cost the city $600K to get the RDA off their a**
  6. billy hoyle
    Report Abuse
    billy hoyle - March 26, 2013 6:50 am
    If only he had the stones to take information public under his name.....allegedly. REFORMAT ME!!!
  7. LNorman
    Report Abuse
    LNorman - March 23, 2013 4:57 pm
    There no comparing Dubuque Sioux City nor Prairie meadows here. they don't have any competition We have 5 in less than 50 miles apart a Casino in Dav, Bett, RI, Lone Tree and off track betting at E.M.Downs soon to have slots I haven't seen any discussion on this.
  8. credit island
    Report Abuse
    credit island - March 23, 2013 2:03 pm
    Read this section 11.1 of the DCIC bylaws ,slowly. Take off your bliders and read it slowly so you understand what is says. Do you know what the definition of the word entity is. If you still can not get it, you can't be helped. Just can't be helped. Sorry.
    Section 11.1. No Vote On Conflicting Matters. Every Director of the Corporation owes
    a duty of loyalty to the Corporation. Further, it is imperative that each Director avoid any
    conflicts of interest with his or her duties as Director. Accordingly, no Director shall vote on any
    matter which grants, confers or otherwise conveys economic benefit to such Director or to an
    entity of which any Director or any member of his or her immediate family is an officer, director,
    shareholder or employee. On an annual basis, and on a form approved by the Corporation's
    Board of Directors, each Director shall confirm in writing that he or she (and his or her family)
    have no conflicts of interest with the Corporation or, if so, the nature of such conflicts.
  9. beman101
    Report Abuse
    beman101 - March 23, 2013 10:47 am
    When you pay someone for advice they will always tell you what you want to hear. this has been a total waste of taxpayer money. remenber this when it's time to vote. unless they want to change that now.
  10. Voice of Truth
    Report Abuse
    Voice of Truth - March 23, 2013 8:24 am
    Crusader- my point isn't that they didn't hire consultants. My point is the project should have never been started. City Government should NOT be in the gaming business, regardless of the so called success stories from other places. This is not what government was intended to do. Also, when a public governmental body has to conduct confidential and secret meetings regarding the project, prepay contracts (for no apparently reason) and spend almost $1M on due dillegence...perhaps the caution flag is going up. When a City government hires a contractor to build a road, replace sewers, build water lines, fix traffic signals...those are projects a government knows how to deal with. Clearly, when this many "consultants and advisors" are needed, it is another Caution Flag that perhaps....they don't know what they are doing.

    The next issue is the outrage from the public. At no time, did the Council listen to the public or ask their opinion about this project. Spending $50M and they don't listen to the public, they just forge ahead with blinders on, hoping the consultants and advisors know what they are doing. The reality is those advisors and consultants have vested interests in making sure this project goes forward, that assures them of continued fees and work.

    The CIty of Davenport needs to do the business of the people. Period. The City of Davenport needs to stay focused on projects and business they understand and are prepared to deal with, not something nuts like gaming. My goodness, just think what the City could have done with $1M...spent on business incubator, street repair, the museum, parks, know...the business of government, This was a complete mistake that cost the City $1M in funds that are crapped away on consultants and advisors for no gain and no value.

  11. Crusader
    Report Abuse
    Crusader - March 22, 2013 10:12 pm
    You have yet to show how it was not legal. I have read the by laws and the specifically the conflict-of-interest sections. None of the members could earn a salary from their position. They all want the casino to be successful. Please tell me how there is any conflict. I have asked many times on a number of posts and have yet to receive an answer. A conflict means they can make a decision that would lead to their financial benefit. Please show me how that can happen. What has happened is that enough people just smart enough to be dangerous have cried "wolf" and the have scared some good people from doing the right thing. More revenue, lower taxes. You would poke yourself in the eye with a sharp stick if someone told you it would hurt the city. Ingenus should hold liable the RDA and specifically Don Decker, personally, who has done nothing but blow smoke up peoples' behinds, and Christine Fredricks (DCIC member and sister of Cathy Cartee, lawyer, muckraker and yelling attendee at Decker's personal party at Pepperjack's) who has blown up the deal for no reason. Connect the dots. That is who should be sued.
  12. Jeffrey Smith
    Report Abuse
    Jeffrey Smith - March 22, 2013 9:00 pm
    That really depends. FOIA is not all encompassing. There are exemptions from FOIA.

    But you are right - there is little use of FOIA here - which can be the easiest and fastest way to get information.
  13. credit island
    Report Abuse
    credit island - March 22, 2013 8:14 pm
    Stop to think yourself, Crusader , the DCIC did not have any legal legs. That is why the City gambling proposal went down. Sorry you can't see this, Crusader. Next up, spend some time figuring out what the City of Davenport's liability is to Ingenus Management and Consulting. You know, the group that was chosen by a vote of the DCIC. Back side of a barn.
  14. nancyjo2020
    Report Abuse
    nancyjo2020 - March 22, 2013 8:10 pm
    We might as well have Rita Crundwell running this city.
  15. Crusader
    Report Abuse
    Crusader - March 22, 2013 7:39 pm
    Stop. Think. Please, think for just a few seconds. All of you who have accused the city of NOT doing their due diligence, that they didn't "have a clue", I would submit this as evidence that they knew exactly what they were doing. A gaming expert, financial experts, bond experts, Big 4 accounting firm. And this doesn't include the analysis done by Wil Cummings, THE expert on gaming in Iowa. You folks need to get out of the way (QC Times included) and let the experts do there job, make the city money and lower taxes. But nooooo, you all are the experts. You all are the ones who are the experts. Really?
  16. RIC
    Report Abuse
    RIC - March 22, 2013 6:31 pm
    People are rightfully concerned...but is anyone going to do anything about it? $70K for attorney fees because our city attorney is incompetent. They cut cops and fire fighters but throw money away on an albatross . So sad but no one will stop it
  17. Voice of Truth
    Report Abuse
    Voice of Truth - March 22, 2013 5:00 pm
    Who knows...but if a reporter really wanted to find out, they can FOIA the City's payments and see who was cut a check for $380K & change. Might be a tell tail sign. Because the City won't disclose it...we can speculate, it likely wasn't a big 4... it was perhaps another more "local firm", made up of City Council pals and cronies. You are would have a negative impact.
  18. Voice of Truth
    Report Abuse
    Voice of Truth - March 22, 2013 4:48 pm
    $600,000 in fees and costs to do an analysis of a project that so many people didnt want that it died due to lack of interest. Truely speechless. $600,000 in tax payer funds truely and completely wasted. Some one besides the tax payers should pay for this. The statement about confidentiality of the accounting firm who billed the City $400,000 in fees for their expert analysis should be disclosed. You take a public client, you accept the public nature of the business. Willing to bet the actual firm was more of a large local firm vs. the big four, Confidentiality...What a joke, at what point in this process is the CIty of Davenport council finally going to figure out that this is public money and there are citizens involved and you are spending public money. Confidentiality is what got you into this mess. Rotate everyone out...except Matson. He was the ONLY one that could see it!
  19. Through the Looking Glass
    Report Abuse
    Through the Looking Glass - March 22, 2013 4:36 pm
    Not a great deal of money? Maybe this money would be better spent on cops for patrol and enough fire fighters to staff all of the fire trucks so one isn't closed every day! How many pot holes does this fix? Our city leaders should be on trial.
  20. Arc Angel
    Report Abuse
    Arc Angel - March 22, 2013 2:56 pm
    Lets vote on it!
  21. LNorman
    Report Abuse
    LNorman - March 22, 2013 2:31 pm
  22. StarvedRock
    Report Abuse
    StarvedRock - March 22, 2013 1:45 pm
    $600,000 are you kidding me! Gluba you and your cronies are out of control! Please leave...
  23. CGE
    Report Abuse
    CGE - March 22, 2013 1:12 pm
    This, amoung other reasons, is why city residents and business owners wanted to be part of the decision making process from the beginning. It should not be just a small group of city leaders who think they know what is best. $600K wasted. Thanks.
    Wish we could hear the truth from all the Alderman who know more about this.
  24. Mister Know It All
    Report Abuse
    Mister Know It All - March 22, 2013 11:01 am
    It's time for Davenport's Elected Officials to stop coming up with one goofy idea after another (Casino, Round Abouts, Planters in the middle of the Road, reducing the number of traffic lanes a major thoroughfare), and start paying attention to the deteriorating infrastructure of the City.
  25. credit island
    Report Abuse
    credit island - March 22, 2013 10:28 am
    I guess for some Bettendorf taxpayers this would not be lots of money, but not to Davenport taxpayers and wait until Igenus Management and Consulting gets done suing, Malin, Warner and the City of Davenport for it's illegal DCIC and selection of their proposal. This money total is yet to go up. In the meantime enjoy the bald eagles, for free, at Credit Island, while you can, before the City is forced, once again, to cut back on park upkeep and maybe sell property to meet its debts.
  26. KingJoe
    Report Abuse
    KingJoe - March 22, 2013 10:12 am
    In September Kurt wrote the following: "Davenport has put an early end to its two-year agreement with a developer who had the rights to bring a land-based casino to the city and will pay the developer $99,000.

    By getting out of the agreement that would have ended in November, the city is able to speak with other interested gaming companies or developers immediately, rather than be limited to those brought to the table by Chicago developer MSEG Inc.

    The termination agreement includes an immediate payment of $49,000 to MSEG, followed by a contingency payment of $50,000 when a third party applies to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission for a license."

    Where is this accounted for? Why did the city opt to pay off MSEG to start speaking with other developers some 60 days earlier then the contact experation date? Now 6 months later and $600,000.00 plus, plus spent and the city is no further along. In the private sector this type of incompetence would result in multiple firings. In government we end up giving theses same people raises. No accountantablity...yes spelled one at the city responsible. The Chamber hiding as usual. This paper should have filed under the freedom of information act a long time ago and got answers. Grow a set and investagate.

  27. Betttaxpayer
    Report Abuse
    Betttaxpayer - March 22, 2013 8:49 am
    I know it's not a grat deal of money but I never understand why these politicians can't buy their own lunches! Geez, they get a paycheck, can't they buy their own lunch like the rest of us?
  28. Jeffrey Smith
    Report Abuse
    Jeffrey Smith - March 22, 2013 8:32 am
    Simple boys, the law says the information resulting from their study is accessible to the public. Who actually did the work does not have to be. These companies may feel that it could have a serious and negative impact on their business if their name was released.
  29. credit island
    Report Abuse
    credit island - March 22, 2013 8:26 am
    This is the Quad City Times Editorial Board back in October, 2012

    Davenport officials today will announce a plan to enter the casino business by purchasing the Rhythm City Casino for $46 million.

    Officials who met Monday afternoon with the Quad-City Times Editorial Board said the purchase will not require taxpayer money and will bring millions of dollars in revenue to the city.

    At a news conference today at City Hall, officials will lay out their plan.

    The Davenport City Council will have its first discussion of the asset purchase terms with Isle of Capri, owner of Rhythm City, at its meeting Wednesday. A council vote expected on Oct. 24 will allow the city and Isle of Capri to negotiate further and also open up discussions with the Riverboat Development Authority, the nonprofit group that holds the casino’s gambling license.

    Mayor Bill Gluba called the proposed purchase “a game changer” on Monday. The purchase could be completed by mid-2013, but that is an aggressive timeline, officials said.

    The city would continue to operate the casino in the current riverboat until a land-based casino could open. Officials said that could be in 2015.

    The purchase terms were completed Friday but aren’t the end of negotiations, Isle of Capri spokeswoman Jill Alexander said Monday.

    Joining Gluba at Monday’s meeting were City Administrator Craig Malin, aldermen Jeff Justin, 6th Ward, Bill Boom, 3rd Ward, and Gene Meeker, At-Large, and City Attorney Tom Warner. Also attending at Davenport’s invitation was Dubuque City Manager Mike VanMilligen.

  30. TruthOnlyBeTold
    Report Abuse
    TruthOnlyBeTold - March 22, 2013 7:52 am
    I agree, that does seem odd. I always thought that public entities had to publish all their expenditures on a regular basis in the newspaper. How can any company that is doing work for the taxpayers have the right to keep their name a secret from the very people they are working for? And why in the world would they want to keep their name a secret? Are they not proud of their work?

    Why would this interim finance director even bother to narrow it down to "one of the big four"? Is he just teasing the public by saying that? Sort of like...I know, but I'm not gonna tell you even though you are paying the bill...but just between me an's a hint....

    Whatever....keep it a secret good thing, come election time people will remember.
  31. Contemptio
    Report Abuse
    Contemptio - March 22, 2013 6:41 am
    B.S. If Tax dollars are used, the books must be open.

    When the Quad-City Times asked for the name of the accounting firm that billed the city $387,500, Wright declined to identify the firm other than it was one of the “big four.” Those are generally identified as Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and KPMG.

    The accounting company demanded confidentiality as a condition of doing the work, which is a standard practice in projects such as this, city attorney Tom Warner said. If someone wanted to push the issue, the city would have to alert the company and give it the opportunity to get a court order to prohibit disclosure.
  32. mendelmen
    Report Abuse
    mendelmen - March 22, 2013 5:03 am
    Thats alot of unfilled potholes.
  33. KAQ
    Report Abuse
    KAQ - March 22, 2013 2:46 am
    What a shameful waste. Somewhere down the line this $600,000.00 will ultimately come out of the tax payers pockets. It's no wonder the economy is in the trash with politicians spending needlessly like this. Oh well take another trip Gluba, you worked hard to spend our money - you deserve it.
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick