Supervisors pass on supporting casino

Posted March 26, 2013 at 6:53 pm

by Steve Peterson

Plymouth County Supervisors will not be taking a position on Sioux City candidates vying for a gambling license.

Supervisors decided at the Feb. 19 regular meeting not to endorse any of the three candidates.

Ho-Chunk Inc. and Warrior Entertainment would house its casino complex, the Warrior Casino and Hotel, at the present Warrior Hotel and Davidson Office Building site.

Supervisors noted Penn National Gaming and Hard Rock Cafe are the other main competitors for a Sioux City gambling license to be determined by the Iowa Racing and Gaming (IRG) Commission at their Feb. 26 meeting.

The IRG Commission is coming to the sites March 26, which was the deadline for letters of support or endorsement. They will select one of the three entities’ proposals on April 18.

“We don’t have a dog in this fight,” said Plymouth County Supervisor Don Kass. “This is a three-way contest among three private entities in another county, and I have nothing against HCI, (Ho-Chunk Inc.).”

“We have no business one way or another endorsing a project in another county. Someone will get a license whether we endorse it or not. It’s not our business,” added Kass.

“I don’t know if I’m qualified to speak for all of Plymouth County,” said Supervisor Craig Anderson.

“I haven’t heard from anyone one way or another,” said Chairman Jim Henrich.

“There is going to be gambling whether we like it or not,” said Supervisor Jack Guenthner.

“A letter of support or endorsement does not prevent the county from supporting others,” said Warrior/Ho-Chunk Inc. CEO Brian Chamberlain in his letter to the supervisors.

In other county business:

• Regarding the Fiscal Year 2013-2014 budget, supervisors discussed on Feb. 5 and Feb. 26 possibly borrowing to pay for construction projects in Fifth Street in Merrill and County Roads K-42 and C-38. The debt will be repaid by a Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) funds from the Plymouth County Ethanol Plant.

March 5 was the public hearing on the budget at the supervisors’ regular meeting.

A public hearing will be held separate for the debt service item, said Plymouth County Attorney Darin Raymond at the Feb. 26 meeting.

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