Grow Greene County slates town hall meetings

Grow Greene County logoSeeking input on distribution of charitable funds

The local non-profit organization that holds the gambling license in Greene County will hold a series of public meetings throughout the county in January to seek public input on the distribution of an estimated $1.2 million a year to worthy causes in the county.

Grow Greene County Gaming Corporation (GGCGC) will receive five percent of the adjusted gross revenue from the Wild Rose Jefferson casino for countywide charitable distribution, an estimated $1.5 million per year. Up to 20 percent of those funds – some $300,000 – is eligible for distribution in the six counties contiguous to Greene County. That leaves $1.2 million for worthwhile projects in Greene County.

The Grow Greene County organization will hold six hour-long town meetings from Jan. 11 to Jan. 19 to listen to suggestions from the public on how to handle the charitable distribution. According to the gaming corporation’s president Norm Fandel, very few decisions have made so far in that regard. Municipalities, school districts, economic development organizations, the Greene County Community Foundation, and other non-profit civic and charitable groups would all be considered for grants.

The town meeting schedule is as follows:

Sunday, January 11:

  • 4:30 pm, Community Building, Scranton.
  • 6 pm, ISU Extension Office, Jefferson.

Thursday, January 15:

  • 6 pm, William Paton Library, Paton.
  • 7:30 pm, Community Building, Churdan.

Monday, January 19:

  • 6 pm, Community Building/Library, Rippey.
  • 7:30 pm, St Brigid Parish Center, Grand Junction.

Grow Greene County anticipates that charitable funds will start to be available for distribution in the spring of 2016. The casino is expected to open this coming August. Adjusted gross revenues of the gambling facility are estimated at $30 million a year.

“We anticipate that the Greene County Community Foundation will continue to make grants every year, with its grant funds now coming from Grow Greene County rather than from state gambling revenues. And it is expected that the Community Foundation will have considerably more money to use for grants than it now has,” Fandel said.

“We know that there will be lots of ideas on how to spend the charitable funds that Grow Greene County receives from Wild Rose Jefferson,” he added. “GGCGC has just begun to set up processes for funding distribution, and we want to know what ideas Greene County residents can offer to help with those decisions. We invite everyone to attend one of the public meetings, both to listen and offer suggestions.”

Each of the meetings will also include a brief summary of how Grow Greene County operates, and some drawings showing how the casino will look inside and out.

Board members of Grow Greene County Gaming Corporation are president Norm Fandel of Jefferson, vice president Craig Marquardt of Paton, secretary Peg Raney of Jefferson, treasurer Bob Allen of Churdan, and Lori Mannel of Scranton, Rick Morain of Jefferson, Brenda Muir of Rippey, and Kate Neese of Grand Junction. Mike Mumma of Jefferson is the organization’s attorney.

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