DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — City officials and members of the “Investing in Danville” advisory committee held their first of three virtual town halls Thursday night. The discussion focused on the use of potential casino-related revenues, providing an opportunity for residents in the City of Danville to have their voices heard.
In May, officials announced the city was in negotiations with Caesars Entertainment to be its preferred casino gaming operator.
The project is estimated to generate more than $38 million in revenue, which would be one-third of the city’s general fund budget.
“There’s certainly a lot of opportunity to make some very sound investments in our future,” said Ken Larking, Danville City Manager.
Public safety and housing were just a few of the topics up for discussion during the meeting on Thursday, Oct. 15, including one of the city’s biggest concerns: education.
“They’re making education our number one priority, so we realized that there is a need there and I think a great opportunity to get it met,” said Kenneth Lewis, an “Investing in Danville” committee member.
Concerned citizens like Pastor Steve Chromy of Mount Hermon Baptist Church say the real issue at hand isn’t about the allocation of funds, but the negative effects the proposed casino would have on the city.
Chromy is all too familiar with the costs. His sophomore year of high school, a casino was build right outside his Minnesota hometown.
“Drunk driving goes up and then the effect of the families, whether it’s through suicides or domestic abuse,” Pastor Chromy said.
As a resident a Danville for over four years, his church is already preparing for the potential impacts.
“We’re opening a counseling ministry. We just opened it recently and we’re already preparing for the effects of this,” said Pastor Chromy.
Whether for or against it, city leaders say it’s important that people continue to share their input, to create necessary change in their community.
The City of Danville will be holding two more virtual town halls later this month:
- Thursday, Oct. 22, from 2 to 4 p.m. Register at this link.
- Thursday, Oct. 29, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Register at this link.
Concluding the town halls, a list of recommendations will be compiled and presented to city council members.
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