Heated Response At Informal Casino Meeting - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Heated Response At Informal Casino Meeting

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These are the questions the city, Riverboat Development Authority, and Davenport Community Improvement Corporation have to decide on to meet the city's goal of submitting a casino purchase application in a few weeks.

Questions, that draw very strong opinions.

"Use your own money, then, not mine, I pay taxes, I didn't say you didn't I said use yours not mine!" yelled Mayor Bill Gluba with a city resident at the meeting.

He became frustrated after listening to members of the business community question the city's attempt to buy the Rhythm City Casino outside of a formal setting.

"If you want to learn then come down to city hall, we don't meet at bars where you can't put things up properly," shouted Gluba.

"It's very hard to analyze this project because there's nothing certain yet, you don't know what the costs are you don't know what the revenue estimate are, how financing is going to be arranged it's all critical obviously," says former co-chair of the RDA John Gardner.

He says too many questions remain unanswered, even as the city presses to have a casino application into the State of Iowa by its April gaming meeting.

"You can't vote on something you don't know what it is, if there's no there, there, how do you vote on it," asked Gardner.

"Here's Dubuque, 1985 to today, 621 million dollars," said Gluba, holding up a banner.

"Dubuque was bought for 12 million dollars in 1985 when there weren't casinos all over and there wasn't all this competition," says Davenport attorney Cathy Cartee.

She questions the idea of spending 150 million dollars to buy and build a new casino. Saying Davenport doesn't have the needed experience.

"I think the city needs to look at private investors and let them run a casino because we have no experience running a casino," says Cartee.

"We're hearing too many responses from the city at this point where we're not sure on the numbers yet, we haven't thought that through," says CPA Steve Spring.

He is organizing a group of business leaders to meet with the city in a calmer setting. To answer these questions and offer local expertise.

"We are very concerned that things are being rushed there, we would like for the city and the RDA to stand back a little bit, involve the business community in the discussion and move a little more slowly."

The Riverboat Development Authority holds its next meeting on Monday.

It still needs to agree on an operating agreement with the DCIC, as well as sign off on the purchase.

The city wants to have the paperwork into the state in a few weeks, to try and win state approval in June.

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