- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 9, 2017

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - A southeast Iowa city along the Mississippi River has agreed to accept a barge that was once home to a casino and plans to use it for tourism-related businesses.

The Keokuk City Council unanimously approved a motion authorizing Mayor Tom Marion to sign a contribution agreement with Scott County Casino for the barge that once held a casino in Davenport, City Administrator Aaron Burnett told the Quad-City Times (https://bit.ly/2pY4Nq5 )

Scott County Casino, doing business as the Rhythm City Casino Resort, now turns the decision over to its board to finish the transfer.

Casino General Manager Mo Hyder said the casino’s legal counsel has received documentation from Keokuk about its intent. Hyder said the casino aims to have the agreement and board approvals in place before the Davenport’s deadline at the end of May.

“If a special meeting needs to be called, then one would be to get this thing moved along,” Hyder said.

Burnett said Keokuk intends to use the barge for businesses, such as coffee shops, ice cream shops, restaurants, and wine and beer tasting rooms that will complement its tourism industry.

Davenport officials considered using the barge as part of riverfront development, but after getting lackluster proposals, the city changed course and moved toward land-based development.

The barge has been for sale on Pinnacle Marine Corp.’s website for nearly $400,000 since the casino announced its intention to move its operations two years ago. But without any offers for the barge, Rhythm City decided to look for parties willing to accept it as a donation.

Rhythm City Casino owner Dan Kehl said Keokuk and Fort Madison became interested in the barge after the city of Clinton found it would be cost prohibitive to accept it.


Information from: Quad-City Times, https://www.qctimes.com

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