Davenport casino barge may be headed downstream-UPDATED

KEOKUK, Iowa (KWQC) - UPDATE: City leaders in Keokuk and Fort Madison revealed more details about what they plan to do with the barge that once served the former Rhythm City riverboat casino.

Keokuk City Administrator Aaron Burnett told WGEM-TV they plan to use the barge as a floating event center for concerts, parties and dinners. Burnett said two council members went to look at the boat.

City leaders in Fort Madison said they want to use it for business space.

The city of Davenport is willing to hand over the barge to the city for free but whichever city acquires the rights has to pay $300,000 to move it.

ORIGINAL: The Rhythm City Casino may not have to look far for a place to send a barge that once served its former riverboat casino. The City of Keokuk is currently in negotiations to bring the barge from Davenport to the Keokuk riverfront.

Keokuk City Administrator Aaron Burnett says the negotiations are in the early stages, and there's also interest from Fort Madison, Iowa.

Burnett says the barge could help Keokuk attract more tourists, since it can also serve as a docking point for riverboats.

The issue is scheduled to come up at a Keokuk City Council meeting on April 20, 2017.

In June, 2016, the Rhythm City Casino opened a land-based facility and later sold and removed its gambling boat. But with no new owner yet, the barge remains on the Davenport riverfront.