McDonald talks water supply for racino

McDonald talks water supply for racino

McDonald talks water supply for racino


McDonald Mayor Glenn Holmes has asked Austintown Township trustees about the village supplying water to the racetrack and casino.

McDonald, Niles and Youngstown have all either inquired or put forth offers to provide water to the Penn National Inc., whose racino is set to open in 2014. Construction will begin Monday.

“It was very preliminary,” Holmes said. “I wanted to have a conversation on whether we could or should provide the water for the racino.”

Holmes briefly spoke with township Trustee Lisa Oles about providing a water supply.

Jim Davis, township trustee chairman, was happy to hear there’s another neighboring community inquiring about the racino’s water service.

“The most important thing for our board of trustees is to ensure the growth of our community and this is the largest project in the history of Austintown Township,” Davis said. “We just want to ensure that the racino is going to be coming to our community and to know that we have two other neighboring communities willing to step up just helps the goal to have Penn National here and open by summer 2014.”

Holmes said he has not contacted Penn National Inc. about supplying water, because he is simply trying to find out some facts about the water supply. Penn National, however, was informed by the Austintown trustees of McDonald’s inquiry.

On July 12, the city of Niles contacted Davis to offer water services to the racino. The proposal from Niles came after Youngstown Mayor Charles Sammarone proposed a joint economic development district, which would bring in tax revenue to the city and to the township.

A JEDD would allow Youngstown to tax any water services and other infrastructure used by the racino. Austintown trustees were told the township could receive up to $2 million a year from a JEDD, but all trustees have said they do not support the idea, because they believe it will deter future business and would be taking money from the racino that has yet to be built.

Penn National spokesman Bob Tenenbaum said the company is doing its own research on the water supply and has yet to discuss the matter with Youngstown, Niles or McDonald, all of which receive water from Meander Water (Mahoning Valley Sanitary District).

“We are examining all of our options,” Tenenbaum said.

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