On a day when local opponents of a proposed gambling casino in the town of Oxford are planning a news conference, the Sun Journal published an article concerning the Paris selectmen who failed to vote last night in favor of a motion supporting the casino. Two of the selectmen spoke out against the casino:
No vote on casino in Paris
By M. Dirk Langeveld , Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
PARIS - A vote of support for the proposed Oxford casino resort by Paris selectmen didn't materialize Monday after a motion endorsing the plan couldn't hold a second.
Selectman David Ivey had asked that the item be put on the agenda.
"The town of Oxford did it, and I think we should follow suit," said Ivey. "And I think other towns are going to be right behind us."
On Oct. 2, Oxford selectmen and that town's economic development advisory committee voted to support having a casino in town if the question passes a referendum in November. Olympia Gaming, the Las Vegas-based group backing the project, announced a week later that the casino would be sited in Oxford.
The proposed $184 million resort casino would include a hotel, casino with table games and slots, spa, and conference center. Proponents say that the resort will create 907 jobs with an average salary of $35,000, while opponents argue that the development would lead to social problems, profits being transferred out of state, and other issues.
Oxford would receive 2 percent of the casino's annual profits, or $2.8 million after its fifth year in operation. The county would receive 1 percent, or $1.4 million after the fifth year.
Selectman Lloyd "Skip" Herrick seconded the motion for the purposes of discussion, but later withdrew the second. Herrick said he believed the decision was an individual one rather than a municipal one.
"I don't think it's the economic answer for the state of Maine or Oxford County," said Herrick. "I've always felt that you can't open the door for one town, city, or municipality in this state and close the door on every other recommendation."
Chairman Raymond Glover said that while the project would create jobs and add value to the area, he was not sure if he could support the casino on behalf of the town.
"I do not support the gambling issue." said Glover. "I do not think economic development based on gambling is beneficial."