CLINTON — The Clinton County Community Development Association Board of Directors had a special guest at its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday.

Clinton County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Grell and his new partner attended the board meeting. K-9 Fill Liqeur is the newest member of the sheriff’s department and the CCCDA recently awarded the CCSD an $11,000 grant for the purchase and training of the K-9.

Fill is a 20-month-old German shepherd with a sable coat. Grell said Fill is originally from Slovakia and attended the Top Dogs Canine Academy in Evansville, Ind., earlier this year. Fill is a dual-purpose law enforcement K-9, trained in patrol work and detection including identification of five narcotic odors, tracking, trainer protection and suspect apprehension. Grell commented on Fill’s strong work ethic.

“He’s what they call a high drive K-9,” Grell said. “When he’s working, he’s working. He loves to work. He lives for it.”

Grell described Fill’s abilities to the board and said his tracking capabilities are excellent. Sheriff Rick Lincoln commented that in training sessions, Fill has nearly knocked deputies off their feet in commanded attacks using a special bite sleeve.

“He hits hard. He does everything all out,” said Grell.

Grell said Fill passed all forms of medical and psychological testing to be chosen as a law enforcement K-9. Fill rides in a K-9 unit patrol car equipped with a special seat and a remote door opener, which Grell can utilize in dangerous situations. Grell noted that the department is working on obtaining a protective vest for the new K-9. Fill joins the ranks of K-9 Oden, a 4-year-old German Shepherd handled by Deputy Jeff Ernst.

In regular business, the board heard from Wild Rose General Manager Tim Bollman. He noted that just last week, the final cruise of the Mississippi Belle II was held, marking a historical moment for riverboat gambling. He stated that Wild Rose Controller Gus Linke would present the organization’s September financial data but commented that it was a “soft month.” Bollman pointed out that the vehicle turnaround was closed for 10 days, restricting patrons to other entrances with steps, which had a large impact on the gambling boat’s revenue. He added that the month of September showed a decrease in gaming revenue throughout the state.

Linke offered the board a summary of financial activity for the month of June and the year-to-date at the casino. He said September admissions were 38,380 passengers, an 11 percent dip from September 2006 at 43,094 passengers. He advised the year-to-date patron count is 335,480, down nearly eight percent from 362,708 through Sept. 2006. Linke said that revenue is down from last year, falling 4.17 percent from $2,453,135 to $2,350,883 and noted the board would receive a revenue check for $89,333. He said year-to-date contributions to the grant pools equal $819,537, up slightly from this time last year at $811,641.

Bollman advised the board that construction at the land-based casino site located at the intersection of Mill Creek Parkway and Highway 30 is running ahead of schedule. He said that 380 parking spaces have been poured and invited the board for a tour of the site once the concrete pad for the structure has been installed. In regards to a question asked at a previous board meeting, Bollman said that of 30 contractors working on the project, five are from Clinton and an additional 10 contractors are from the Clinton area. He commented that 99 percent of the contractors are from Iowa.

Later in the agenda, the board discussed a grant extension for the Clinton Police Department and a request from the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office. Board member Matt Stammeyer said that the sheriff’s office reserves received a $10,000 grant toward the purchase of a new vehicle. He noted that the reserves initially planned to donate the vehicle to the Red Cross, but need funds to properly equip the vehicle. Stammeyer said the Red Cross offered to buy the vehicle for $1,500 and the reserves were requesting permission from the board to sell the vehicle. He remarked the project remained the same and said he didn’t believe the modification altered the grant purpose. Other board members agreed and approved a motion to allow the sheriff’s reserves to sell the vehicle to the Red Cross.

Then the board discussed a request from the Clinton Police Department seeking an extension of a grant received for the acquisition and training of a K-9 due to a training class cancellation. The board approved a motion extending the grant deadline until March 31, 2008.