Brookville Borough Council Grapples With Casino Ordinance

BROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) — While Brookville Borough Council quietly adopted its proposed 2018 budget, the bulk of the debate at Tuesday’s meeting centered on the possibility of allowing a casino to come to the borough.

Council eventually tabled voting on Resolution 537-17. But they will have to make a decision at the next meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, December 19. It will be the borough’s final meeting of 2017.

The ordinance is one that many municipalities have debated over the last few months. The state legislature previously adopted House Bill 271 which amended the state Race Horse Development and Gaming Act that authorizes a number of gambling expansion opportunities in Pennsylvania.

House Bill 271 also requires municipalities to opt in or opt out to host Category 4 licenses casinos by the end of the year.

While many on council feel the chances of a casino coming into the borough are remote, some don’t want to nix the idea either.

Council member Dave Ferringer doesn’t want to say no to a casino in the borough because it could stifle development, and possibly mean a reduction in jobs.

“A concern of mine is if we say no to a casino or having machines in a truck stop and another nearby town takes it, then do we end up losing what we already have here?” Ferringer said.

For council member Karen Allgeier, she feels the chances of a casino coming to Brookville “aren’t very high,” but doesn’t want to quash the chance.

“If we don’t support this, they will look elsewhere,” Allgeier said.”It’s a Catch 22 for us – we’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t.”

Jean Hidinger, who lives outside of the borough, said she couldn’t see the benefits of a casino.

“I admit, I’m a bit old-fashioned, but gambling, like other addictions, are hard to control. It ruins families, and I’m afraid that’s what casinos will do in our community,” Hidinger said.

President Pro-Tem Bill Kutz said an issue that council has weighed heavily and he also had some interesting comments regarding his online research.

“Biblically speaking, I couldn’t find anything directly prohibiting it,” Kutz said.

Council members Ken King and Clarinda Darr indicated they are presently against allowing a casino to come to the borough.

“I’d still like to know more, but as of now, I’m against it,” King said.

“I’m just not sure about it,” Darr said.

In other business, Borough Manager Dana Shick said Jennifer Dolan has been hired as the new secretary for the borough police department. She will begin December 18.

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