Editor's note: The Isle of Capri's application with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its riverfront-hotel and casino-relocation project has triggered a public-comment period that ends on Thursday, December 22. The public notice is reprinted here. Supporting documnets can be found at (http://www2.mvr.usace.army.mil/regulatory/documents/2005-1598.pdf).


Applicant: Isle of Capri Casinos

Date: November 23, 2005

Expires: December 22, 2005


Section 10

1. Applicant. Isle of Capri Casinos, 1641 Popps Ferry Road, Suite B1, Biloxi, Mississippi 39532.

2. Project Location. Mississippi River, right bank, approximate river mile 482.5, in Section 35, Township 78 North, Range 3 East, in Davenport, Scott County, Iowa.

3. Project Description. The applicant proposes to relocate an existing gambling boat and pavilion barge. The applicant's stated purpose of the project is to relocate the existing gambling facility 380 feet upstream of its current location to align it with a proposed 10-story hotel and parking-ramp complex. The casino boat and pavilion barge will be permanently moored to the shoreline by two or three steel support arms and two steel cables. Two 100-foot-long steel access walkways will connect the pavilion barge to the hotel complex. The boat will be moored to the pavilion barge by cables and ropes. Utility lines (sewer/water/electrical) will also be constructed to provide service to the pavilion and casino boat. An area 420 feet long and 150 feet wide will be mechanically dredged to an elevation of 536.0 feet mean seal level. Approximately 12,000 cubic yards of primarily gravel and rock will be disposed of in an upland non-wetland site. Maintenance dredging will occur on an as needed basis but is not anticipated. The material will be disposed of as stated above.

4. Agency Review.

a. Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers. The Department of the Army application is being processed under the provisions of Section 10 of the Rivers & Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403).

b. State of Iowa. A copy of the application has been submitted to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for review. The applicant has also applied for authorization of work in the floodplain pursuant to Chapter 455B of the Iowa Code and other applicable state permits.

5. Historical/Archaeological. The Corps consulted with the District geographic information systems (GIS) archeological site and survey databases current as of October 2005. This permit area has been surveyed (R&C#19740082000 & 19970400057). This is a permit for moving the mooring location of this casino barge and boat to a new location nearby its current location on the Davenport riverfront. It is the opinion of the Corps that issuance of this permit will have no effect on historic properties because "the nature, scope, and magnitude of the work, and/or structures to be permitted are such that there is little likelihood that a historic property exists or may be affected" (33 CFR Part 325, Appendix C.3.b).

6. Endangered Species. District staff have performed a preliminary review of this application for the potential impact on threatened or endangered species pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act as amended. Based upon the information provided and available at this time, our preliminary determination is that the proposed activity would have no effect on federally listed endangered or threatened species or critical habitat. While no consultation has been initiated with the United States Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) at this time, we are further coordinating this application with the FWS and the respective resource agencies through this public notice. Accordingly, our preliminary determination is subject to change should further information become available.

7. Public Interest Review. The decision whether to issue the Corps permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefit which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, cultural values, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food production, and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.

8. Who Should Reply. The Corps of Engineers is soliciting comments from the public; federal, state, and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps of Engineers to determine whether to issue, modify, condition, or deny a permit for this proposal. To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public-interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity. These statements should be submitted on or before the expiration date specified at the top of page 1. These statements should bear upon the adequacy of plans and suitability of locations and should, if appropriate, suggest any changes considered desirable.

9. Public Hearing Requests. Any person may request, in writing, within the comment period specified in this notice, that a public hearing be held to consider this application. Requests for public hearings shall state, with particularity, the reasons for holding a public hearing. A request may be denied if substantive reasons for holding a hearing are not provided.

10. Reply to the Corps. Comments concerning the Corps permit should be addressed to the District Engineer, US Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, ATTN: OD-P, Clock Tower Building - Post Office Box 2004, Rock Island, Illinois 61204-2004. Mr. John G. Betker (309-794-5380) may be contacted for additional information.

John G. Betker

Project Manager

Regulatory Branch

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