Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Riverlife Task Force Responds to Casino Request for Delay

Executive Director Lisa Schroeder says a delay may mean the public riverfront amenities in the original plan may never be implemented, and they are a crucial part of the city's overall riverfront park. Boat docks, landscaping, accessible ramps and pathways, and a 1000-seat concert amphitheater were supposed to be constructed as the casino is built, but developer Don Barden has asked the City Planning Commission for a three-year delay, after which an "implementation plan" would be submitted.

The stated reason for the delay is to keep the project within the original budget of $780 million, but Schroeder points out the cost of the riverfront features is $3-1/2 million, only .4% of the total.

The City Planning Commission will hold public hearings before voting on the delay.

Construction on the casino stopped yesterday because contractors are not being paid in a timely manner, and Barden is late in securing funding for the project.

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