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Cuyahoga Council debates use of county's casino revenue

6:31 PM, May 22, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Cuyahoga County Council leaders discussed Tuesday afternoon how to get the most "bang for their buck" from the anticipated revenues from the new Horseshoe Cleveland Casino.

The money -- expected to be between $8 million and $13 million annually -- may not arrive until 2014 but a lively debate has already started about how to best use it.

The county council and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald began the discussion at Tuesday's meeting.

Some council members suggest divvying up the money into separate projects for each of the 11 council districts.

Others propose spending shares on law enforcement, scholarships and gambling addiction treatment programs.

Some suggest focusing spending on inner-ring suburbs or maybe lowering the Cuyahoga County sales tax.

FitzGerald has broadly advocated spending money on downtown businesses and development projects.

But others argue that the City of Cleveland is getting its own piece of the casino pie and the benefits should be shared countywide.

Euclid Mayor Bill Cervenik, speaking for the Inner-Ring First Suburbs group, said "If we do not have an opportunity to get money for projects...we're going to have a vibrant downtown and thriving outer-ring suburbs with a wasteland in between."

Some council members, including Jack Schron, Sunny Simon and Dave Greenspan, suggest finding a balance between downtown and suburban needs.

No decision has been made and the next meeting to discuss the casino revenue is June 12.

Channel 3's Tom Beres will bring you more of the story starting tonight at 6. 


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