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Financing reviewed for proposed Lyon County casino

LARCHWOOD, Iowa -- The equity and financing commitments for the proposed Lyon County Resort & Casino, LLC were reviewed Thursday by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, but formal action has not yet been taken.

The commitments presented by the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation Inc. amounted to $50 million in equity and $70 million in debt, said Brian Ohorilko, the commission's director of gaming.

On March 23, the foundation, along with the other three applicants for gaming facilities in Iowa, will give a 45-minute presentation to the commissioners, during which they can address the project's importance or other issues.

On April 6, the commissioners will review background checks of the investors, officers and directors of the proposed projects.

On April 14, following visits to the other sites, the commissioners will travel to northwest Iowa to visit the casino's proposed site near Larchwood.

There will be a public hearing and question-and-answer session for the commission members on May 4. Ohorilko said it will be an opportunity for anyone other than the applicants, whether they favor the project or not, to speak with commissioners. Commissioners will also address their final questions to the applicants.

The commission will make its final decision of whether to award a license on May 13.

The proposed $90-million project has met with resistance by some, namely Lyon County Citizens for Casino Truth, but was approved by 62 percent of voters in September 2008.