$2 million will go to City of Cape Girardeau, but use of money changed

By Christy Millweard - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A change of plans for who will see the $2 million from the Isle of Capri.

The Cape Girardeau City Council voted Monday night to move the money from funding city projects, to paying off a debt.

"I think it really boils down to good business sense," said Cape Girardeau City Manager Scott Meyer.

"It would be a cost saving factor for the city," said Cape Girardeau Mayor Harry Rediger.

When the City of Cape Girardeau made a development agreement with the Isle of Capri, part of the agreement was that the casino would give $2 million to the city.

Of the $2 million, $1 million was to go to Broadway enhancements such as historical lighting, benches, and landscape. The other $1 million was allotted to go to other developments around the city such as Melania's Magical Playland, dog parks, and a parking lot for the River Heritage Museum.

The new plan says just under $1.7 million will go to pay off the bonds the city owes on the Commander building at the Cape Girardeau Airport. $300,000 will go toward paying back the city's emergency reserve fund.

Meyer says the thought of paying off a huge city debt is a relief.  "It's a good feeling and I think allows the city to turn a corner and to be a productive deal for us."

One thing many people are confused about is if the new plan means the planned projects aren't going to happen.

City officials say the city will save a quarter of a million dollars each year by not making payments on the Commander building. Meyer says that saved money will go to the projects.

However, Meyer says the Broadway upgrade funding will come from the TTF sales tax.

Meyer says that construction should start by the end of this year, and finish before the casino opens.

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