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Danville, VA Local Government News and Announcements

Posted on: September 28, 2020

City to host meetings on use of casino revenue

The City of Danville will host three virtual town halls in October to receive citizen feedback on potential investment priorities from casino-related revenues should the referendum pass on Nov. 3.

 

The tentative dates and times for these meetings are:

 

•         Oct. 15, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

•         Oct. 22, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

•         Oct. 29, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

 

Details on how to join the meetings will be provided once the links are set up.

 

These meetings will be held virtually in a “webinar” style with participants able to submit questions and comments before and during the sessions. Also, there will be a survey available for citizens to take to provide feedback.

 

The purpose of the virtual town halls is to receive feedback from the public about what the City is considering as spending priorities. 

 

An advisory committee, called “Investing in Danville,” has been formed to receive and distill feedback from the community on how to invest possible new revenues in ways that will have the most significant long-term impact. Also, PFM Group Consulting has been hired to guide a citizen-driven process to decide how to invest new revenues.

 

Public comments from the virtual town halls meetings will be given to the “Investing in Danville Committee,” which will work with PFM to analyze the results and present a final report. The report will include an outline of investments and their fiscal impacts, an overview of community feedback, and specific recommendations for investment priorities.   

 

The “Investing in Danville” committee is composed of the following members: Paul Liepe; Porchia Russell; Matt Switick; Kenny Lewis; Ann Stratton; Greg Hairston; Joy Wood; Crystal Cobbs; Shelia Williamson-Branch; Frank Wickers; Kristin Barker.

 

The committee has reviewed the financial impact projections of casino gaming, and it has identified broad categories of needs and investment categories that could produce long-term positive outcomes for the community. The categories are as follows:

 

  • Public education — classroom instruction, school buildings and infrastructure, summer and after school programs, and enhanced extracurricular activities.
  • Economic development — business retention, workforce development, increased support of small businesses owned by women and minorities, business recruitment, and tourism.
  • Quality housing — affordable quality housing options, increasing homeownership, blight, preventing dislocation (gentrification), and weatherization programs to improve energy efficiency and reduce utility bills.
  • Healthy community — access to healthy foods, recreation amenities, and mental health, including addiction.
  • Public safety — expansion of community policing, reduction of gang participation, construction of a new police headquarters, and crime reduction programs.
  • Quality of life amenities — community centers, entryway beautification, construction of a riverfront park, and neighborhood parks.
  • Infrastructure improvements — storm drainage (including curbs and gutters), street (including bridges, roads, and sidewalks), public transit, and airport improvements. 
  • Long term financial stability — debt reduction, budget stabilization to ensure sustainable funding for core services, and capital reserve funds.

Earlier this month, Danville city and Caesars Entertainment officials signed a development agreement for a resort casino at the former Dan River Mills industrial complex in Schoolfield.

 

Based on estimates provided by Caesars and reviewed by Convergence Strategy Group, it is expected that, by year three of operation, this project will produce $22 million in state-collected gaming tax revenue remitted to the City of Danville, $12 million in supplemental payments to the City of Danville, and $4.2 million in meals, sales, hotel/motel, and property taxes.

 

More information about casino gaming, including an interim report of the work of the “Investing in Danville” committee, can be found at www.danvilleva.gov/casino.   

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