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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, July 02, 2015

NorCo Council Takes Control Over Table Games Grants

By a 8-1 vote, Northampton County Council last night voted to require their approval of any grants that might come from the nearly $3 million in table games revenue that is currently sitting in county coffers. An additional $1.2 million in revenue is anticipated this year. Glenn Geissinger was the sole council member to vote against this proposal, which was sponsored by Lamont McClure and Ken Kraft. Even Executive John Brown stated he didn't "really have any concern" with giving Council a say in how that money is spent. "We're just looking to get that money into circulation and put it to good use," he explained.

Brown has established announced a $1 million grants and loan program designed to focus more on the aging boroughs than on Bethlehem and Easton. On the campaign trail, he had argued that "[w]e have to get away from Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, and focus on the rest of the community." His plan, called the Community Investment Partnership Program (CIPP), will actually give priority to applications from the smaller communities. At an economic development hearing, DCED Director Diane Donaher indicated that 80% of the grants and funds awarded will go to what she calls the "aging communities" in contrast to the urban core.

Stating he had no intention of throwing a "wet blanket" on the spending plan outlined by brown. McClure's argument was simply that there's too much money in table games revenue for it to be discretionary." Hayden Phillips likened McClure's ordinance to what goes on in open space, where money is allotted in the budget every year but specific projects are voted up or down. Calling it a "check" on large sums of money, Seth Vaughn also agreed it "sounds good to me."


Anonymous said...

Could any of this grant money be used to stake Jim Gregory in the $10-$25 NL Hold em game on Tuesdays at Sands?

Anonymous said...

Nice one Sticky!