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Sunday, Apr. 20, 2014

Commission nixes riverboat

Friday, April 11, 2003

CHARLESTON - After a week to consider it and further discussion, Mississippi County commissioners passed a resolution during their regular meeting Thursday to not endorse a proposed riverboat gambling development in the county.

Ricky G. Smith from Union City, Tenn., presented commissioners the development proposal with a projected cost of $300 million during the April 3 meeting.

Hoyt Barnes of Charleston attended the meeting to voice his opinion against the gambling operation.

Martin Lucas agreed, stating the many detrimental effects on communities from the gambling industry are listed and available for viewing at the "Focus on the Family" Website, adding that he is not against other entertainment facilities listed in the proposal such as the golf course or amusement park.

A likely scenario, officials agreed, is that the gambling facilities would be built then the money would run out before they ever saw the additional facilities.

Commissioners also discussed how it appears to them the majority of casino patrons are senior citizens, many of which are on fixed incomes.

The feasibility of the channel work and raising the area above the flood plain that would be necessary was also questioned by commissioners, as the U.S. Corps of Engineers must approve any projects related to the waterways.

"He did some homework, but it was inadequate," said Commissioner Homer Oliver.

In other Mississippi County Commission business:

Charleston City Manager David Brewer advised commissioners the city had contracted a company to run a camera into the sewers near the courthouse to determine the problem causing the sewage backups and found a "tiny flaw" that in most cases would not even be worth breaking the street for.

"There's just a little bit of a lip," Brewer said. "But he's going to bust it out and fix it."

Commissioners confirmed that was what had been reported when the county paid for a camera to look at the pipes, and that although small, it was managing to catch some materials and eventually create blockages.

Brewer also discussed the county's agreement to go in half on hotmix asphalt overlay for Gooden Avenue, advising the Charleston City Council has budgeted the project.