Location A Big Concern At Casino Development Agreement Meeting - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Location A Big Concern At Casino Development Agreement Meeting

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     Residents in one North Davenport neighborhood turn out in force to a work session Monday on the land-based casino development agreement. The potential location off of Veterans Memorial Parkway and Eastern Avenue announced a couple weeks ago was the center of much of the discussion. Now, developer Dan Kehl says the focus may shift elsewhere.
     Members of the public packed into council chambers and after some discussion they there were asked to raise for a show of hands either in support or opposition. Not a single one was on board with the potential site announced a couple weeks ago. One after the next residents came face to face with the developers, even city leaders spoke their concerns of infringing on the nearby residential area. 
     There is no specific site tied to the proposed development agreement. Developer Dan Kehl says he is considering several but that the optioned 100 acres is actually not the preferred spot. After all the discussion he says it will probably not be something considered moving forward.
     Kehl is not revealing the other locations he's eyeing, but city leaders suggest moving West on the I-80 corridor. Either way impact on surrounding areas weighs heavily.
     "Obviously, you have to go through the zoning process but we're going to be in this community for years to come and the residents are going to be our customers so we want them to be happy with what we do.and be a good citizen to the community," said Kehl.
      "It's not that I'm opposed to the casino itself, but putting it in an area that's more in competition with Jumers," suggested resident Mike Kane.
     Kehl says a site should be nailed down in a couple of months. Beyond location, city leaders requested more specifics in the timeline for getting things done. Some also mentioned concern with the plan to use the hotel tax and part of the gaming fees to pay for additional developments over time. City leaders would also like to see more than the 95 rooms planned for the hotel.
     Kehl says all of this will get more consideration before a final development agreement is nailed down. He has until mid-October to exercise his purchase options.