CLINTON — On Tuesday, Wild Rose Casino/Mississippi Belle II General Manager Tim Bollmann offered the Clinton County Community Development Association Board of Directors an update on how work is progressing at the new land-based casino site.
Bollmann said casino and construction officials held the first construction meeting last week. He noted that the building pad is up to grade but workers continue to move fill dirt in surrounding areas. Bollmann said Scheckel Construction is attempting to mitigate the amount of dust stirred up while moving the fill by spraying it with water, in response to the concerns of adjacent property owners.
He stated that the city may release a parking lot near the riverfront for use by the casino. The lot was being resurfaced by the city in conjunction with construction of the new marina as part of the Vision Iowa Project. Bollman said the city is ready to begin work on the new amenities building and wants to utilize the shuttle turnaround area during the construction period. He noted that casino officials are working on a plan to create a second turnaround area and looking at ways to accommodate patrons of lesser mobility due to the impending loss of the only entrance that is level and does not have stairs. Bollmann added he is looking forward to Riverboat Days and thinks it will be a good event for the casino.
Wild Rose Controller Gus Linke offered the board a summary of financial activity for the month of June and the year-to-date at the casino. Linke said that the revenue for June amounted to approximately $2,237,000, a seven percent increase over June 2006, which was $2,213,000. He added that admissions were down 3.57 percent from this time last year and remarked it is impressive that revenues are higher despite having less people.
Linke said year-to-date revenue was $14,200,000 approximately, just over one percent under last year’s YTD figures, and total admissions were down 6.6 percent.
He said that funds going to the non-profit association in June were $89,957, with YTD figures at $539,734, and hinted that with the upcoming promotions, July could be another good month.
Camanche Fire Chief Dave Schutte appeared before the board and offered a personal thank you to the association for a $50,000 Fund A grant recently awarded to the fire department to replace a aging fire truck. Schutte said the Camanche Fire Department is funded by taxes, but is supplemented by grants and private sector donations and the department greatly appreciates the association’s continued support throughout the years. He noted that the process to purchase the new fire truck would take a year approximately and he hopes the association board will come to see the truck they helped to purchase once it is received. He remarked that the CCCDA logo will be featured on the truck and the fire department will “display it proudly.” Schutte presented CCCDA President Jim McGraw with a certificate of appreciation, thanking the association for their support and Schutte told the board they do great work and the Camanche Fire Department feels privileged to have been selected to receive a grant.
Before adjourning the meeting, McGraw advised the board had received an informational packet from officials with the Meadowview Pool stating they would like to obtain funding for pool renovations through the new Director’s Fund. Board member Brig Tubbs asked why pool officials are not applying for a potential Fund B grant and McGraw said the organization is a 501(C)7 organization, not 501(C)3 as is required for grant consideration. Board Secretary Shawn Hood said the information did specify a requested funding amount but officials sent estimates detailing some of the renovation work that needs to be done. McGraw estimated a total request of around $100,000 including $11,000 for roofing, $25,000 for a new pool liner, $8,000 for fencing and $14,000 for windows and doors, among other needs. Tubbs asked if the pool officials would be required to provide matching funds and McGraw replied that no guidelines were set for the Director’s Fund.
McGraw offered the idea that the board could let the fund grow for an unspecified amount of time, in an effort to build up available funding for special projects. Board member Jerome Burken said the board probably should have detailed when the fund was started, the fund would be allowed to grow for a period of time and very few applications for funding from the Director’s Fund would be considered until then. Board member Matt Stammeyer suggested sending pool officials a response letter, asking them to partner with a 501(C)3 organization and apply for funding through the pool process.