Davenport City Council hears report on casino panel’s bylaws

2012-11-08T04:00:00Z 2012-11-08T05:35:50Z Davenport City Council hears report on casino panel’s bylawsKurt Allemeier The Quad-City Times
November 08, 2012 4:00 am  • 

The seven-member board that will oversee operations of a city-owned casino will include city staff, an alderman and four community members, the Davenport City Council heard Wednesday.

Alderman heard a brief report on the bylaws of the Davenport Community Improvement Corporation they will vote on next week. The city staff members who would have permanent seats on the board are the city administrator and police chief. The alderman, appointed by the city council, would serve a two-year term.

The community members and the alderman would be paid $12,000 a year. City staff won’t be compensated.

Mayor Bill Gluba will appoint the four community members with city council approval.

“The idea here is to get people on the board who are good leaders with business acumen to run this like a business,” city attorney Tom Warner said.

By comparison, the Dubuque Racing Association, which oversees the city-owned Mystique casino, has a 21-member board that includes three members of the Dubuque City Council, the mayor, city manager and a member of the Dubuque County Board of Supervisors. The rest of the board are community members from Dubuque and the surrounding area. The board appointments aren’t compensated.

For the Davenport Community Improvement Corporation, two community members would serve two-year terms and the other two would serve three-year terms initially so that appointments would be alternating. Community board members would serve three-year terms moving forward.

City staff other than the city administrator and police chief can be appointed after the board’s first three years of existence.

The Riverboat Development Authority, which holds the Davenport gaming license, will be allowed to appoint two members of the board after the initial two- and three-year board terms.

Gluba said the council has received applications and interviewed candidates, so that appointees could be announced late next week.

For the most part, aldermen were pleased with the bylaws, though Alderman Mike Matson, 8th Ward, said he was concerned about the compensation of the board would receive.

Matson voted against the first step toward purchasing the casino and is currently the subject of an investigation into whether he impersonated a public official by allegedly sending emails about the casino to television station KWQC in the names of other aldermen.

Next week’s city council meeting will be moved from Wednesday to Thursday because a city contingent is going to make a presentation to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission in Johnston. The city council meeting will be at the regular time of 5:30 p.m.

Aldermen also heard a report on hiring of an architecture firm for the renovation of downtown’s central fire station. Central Fire Station opened in 1902, with additions in 1940 and 1951.

Chief Lynn Washburn reported the project costs at $15.2 million, including construction costs of $9.4 million and land acquisition of $3.8 million. Actual work on the project wouldn’t begin until 2014, with design work starting this spring along with land acquisition, demolition and abatement.

Galante Architecture Studio, of Cambridge, Mass., will be paid $996,400 for design of the project. City officials spoke to the company about partnering with Quad-City firms and Galante has brought on KJWW Engineering, Downing Architects and Missman Engineering, Washburn said.

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