$3M in local impact funds from Horseshoe Casino reallocated to move steam line

There are just a few days left, and the doors at the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore will open.
 
However, the focus for some community leaders isn't on the gaming and the restaurants inside. Instead, it's on how the city is paying for the relocation of the steam line right outside.
 
"Unfortunately no other alternatives could be identified. Therefore we had to make a decision that no one wanted to make," Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said. 
 
Leaders said the work is already done but Wednesday morning, the Board of Estimates approved allocating $3 million in local impact funds to pay for it. 
 
Rawlings-Blake said the decision just made the most sense when they looked at other alternatives. 
 
"But for this casino, this revenue stream to the city as far as tax revenue that are going for school construction, recreation as well as property tax reduction, if it weren't for the casino, that revenue stream wouldn't be there," Rawlings-Blake said. 
 
The money from that revenue stream will be used to pay for this project over fiscal year 2016 and 2017 and will then go back to fund more community projects.
 
Merad Rice, Acting Vice President of the Westport Improvement Association, is looking forward to seeing how the money can be spent in her neighborhood. 
 
"I hope they will use it for fixing up the streets, helping out with the schools because really our kids don't have any place to go," Rice told ABC2. 
 
Mayor Rawlings-Blake said if the line stayed where it was, it would expose the thousands of daily visitors to the casino to hot manhole covers and steam. 
 
Right now, the 45-year-old line gets worked on four or five times a month, forcing crews to close a portion of Warner St. 
 
"The city could potentially lose up to $90,000 per day every time the street was closed for regular maintenance to that steam line which in the long term diminishes the returns for community projects as well as city revenue," Rawlings-Blake said. 
 
The city approved the relocation of the steam line in May 2014 to make sure the grand opening of Horseshoe Casino was not pushed back. 

 

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