Friday, August 04, 2006

The Town Of Riverside Are A Bunch Of Suckers

From the Washington Evening Journal:
Proponents of the $155 million Earthpark Thursday painted a rainbow of opportunity, complete with a proverbial pot of gold, in a move to get city support for the rain forest/science learning center.

After more than two hours of visual presentation, discussion and public comment, the mayor and council asked Earthpark to put it in writing.

"We will get a packet of questions together," said Mayor Bill Poch, "and we would like you to write down the answers. We want hard copy." He also asked if the answers could be done within a week after receiving the questions.

Earthpark CEO David Oman said, "It will not be a problem..."

...A key issue is Earthpark's seeking a $25 million community contribution, as well as needing a governmental entity-a city or county-to apply for a $20 million Vision Iowa grant.

"If Riverside is not supportive, it probably will be going to Pella," said Dan Kehl, CEO of the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort that is offering a $12 million to the project. In addition, Kehl has suggested that the Washington County Riverboat Foundation, the non-profit group that will have $3.2 million to distribute to non-profit and charitable groups in the county, give $8 million at the rate of $800,000 for ten years.

However, the Foundation board at its July 19 meeting, said the Earthpark would have to apply "like everyone else," and objected to Chairman Tim Putney's suggestion that special committee be set up just to deal with Earthpark.

Thursday, the Earthpark proponents outlined what they termed a "creative package," that could bring 1.2 million visitors to the area and generate an estimated $130 million economic impact.

Part of that would be additional sales tax, including a hotel/motel tax, revenue that could generate $6.8 million referred to by John Norwood of Earthpark as "incremental revenue Riverside city would receive about $1.6 million of that.

Earthpark proposed a "sharing arrangement" involving a three-way contract with the Earthpark, the city and the Environmental Development Group. The latter includes the Kehls and the casino and holds the option for the site occupied by River Products, a quarry operation, on Highway 22 directly south of the casino.

Although Norwood spoke of the generation and use of "future dollars," he also said, replying to a question from council member Todd Yahnke about the sharing agreement, "It is hard to predict the future."

Council members, though, made it clear Riverside did not have money to put into the community match, which is needed for the $50 million in federal funds, said Oman.
Look at how the con-artists representing EarthPork at coming into a town like Riverside, demanding a sales tax increase, and basically acting like they're entitled to all of the Washington County Riverboat Foundation's money.

There's not even a phony pretense of raising private money anymore. All you get out of David Oman and this John Norwood character are demands for casino money, foundation money, sales tax increases in a town of less than 1000 people, and plans to go into debt.

And what about the absolutely phony prediction of 1,200,000 people coming to Riverside? That's nearly 3300 paying customers per day, every day of the year. Even Mondays. Even Christmas. Even days when there's a foot of snow on the ground and the high temp is zero. Where are they going to come from?