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Danville, VA Local Government News and Announcements

Posted on: October 14, 2020

Town halls on use of casino revenue set to begin

The first of three virtual town halls on the use of potential casino-related revenues will be held on Thursday, Oct. 15, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The City of Danville is hosting the town halls to receive citizen feedback on investment priorities should the referendum pass on Nov. 3.

 

To participate in Thursday’s meeting, citizens should register by clicking on this link.

 

The dates, times and registration links for the other virtual meetings are:

 

•         Oct. 22, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Register at this link.

•         Oct. 29, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Register at this link.

 

 Also, citizens can participate in an online survey to provide feedback.

 

The public comments from the town halls and the survey results will be given to the “Investing in Danville" advisory committee. The committee was 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.

 

The committee will work with PFM Group Consulting 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.

Last 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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