Mill No. 5 being eyed for Lewiston casino

LEWISTON — Lewiston city councilors will meet in a closed-door session tonight to consider a proposal to tear down Bates Mill No. 5 and build a casino, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

Bates Mill No. 5

Acting City Administrator Phil Nadeau confirmed the executive session was set up to discuss a proposal for the 8-acre property, which is the portion of the Bates Mill complex on Lincoln Street closest to Main Street. Nadeau would say only that proposals by some individuals interested in the land were to be discussed; he declined to discuss details. The Council's agenda listed an executive session for real estate negotiations.

Another city official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the negotiations would involve an offer from a local businessman that includes the city selling him an option on the land for potential casino development. 

A prominent Maine businessman told the Sun Journal today that he had been approached about two months ago by an intermediary for a group of Lewiston-based investors who were interested in building a casino on the site of the former textile mill.

That individual said he declined involvement in the group, not because he was for or against the idea but because he was too busy with other ventures.

Lewiston's former city administrator, Jim Bennett, said Tuesday it would not surprise him if a push for a casino at the mill property was being presented. He said several members of the Council had pitched the idea to him in the past.

Bennett said he disagreed with them over the economic benefits a casino would bring to the city, so they stopped discussing the idea with him.

"I told them I didn't think a casino was all it was cracked up to be for a be-all, end-all for economic development," he said.

It is unclear whether the City Council will vote on the proposal Tuesday night.

sthistle@sunjournal.com

Location of Bates Mill No. 5

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Comments

Shane Morin's picture

Until I see someone with a

Until I see someone with a better idea of what to do with downtown Lewiston, I will fully support a casino. Something has to be done. It's as simple as that.

Shane Morin's picture

At this point I'm willing to

At this point I'm willing to take risks, yes. My entire life has been spent in Lewiston, and I have only seen our downtown continue to disintegrate and become more and more pathetic. The city itself has shown no sign of economic growth, and we need to do something. Risks need to be taken instead of having to watch those abandoned buildings sit there for the next generation to have to see. Where is YOUR evidence that a run-down small city like Lewiston was hurt by a the presence of a casino?

 's picture

Well, we've got the clown

Well, we've got the clown that Bangor got rid of to be the city administrator. God help us!

Dave Bussey's picture

Well this is really good for

Well this is really good for Lewiston I wonder which idiot on the council thought this idea through !!! How many GOOD livibg wage jobs will come out of this were are the people coming from to support it ?? Has anyone looked at what is going on 90% of Lewiston is BELOW the provierty level YEAH L/A its happening here !!

Nathan McCarron's picture

You'd be better served

You'd be better served having the casino out by the Ramada for turnpike access anyway. Downtown can't handle the congestion as it is.

 's picture

Possibly the worst idea I

Possibly the worst idea I have ever heard in my life!! Lewiston does not need a business that preys on people with gambling as well as other kinds of addictions. Try visiting New Orleans where people who are obviously poor are feeding their credit cards into slot machines hoping to make a killing. It's pathetic, actually. A casino would also attract drugs, prostitution, organized crime, etc., etc. The Lewiston City Councilors should be ashamed of themselves for even entertaining such an idea and should be voted out of office if they vote in favor of this. It would be a disaster to have this in the heart of downtown Lewiston-Auburn.

Eric Potvin's picture

Your ignorance to the whole

Your ignorance to the whole situation is reflected multiple times in your negative rambling above... I won't tear it apart line by line... i'll just summarize by saying your completely wrong in every aspect of thought.

Kimberly Hill's picture

well we already got the

well we already got the hookers and drug addicts so its not like anyone can say it will bring them in. I think It would be a great opportunity and something for adults to do around here.

RAYMOND FRECHETTE's picture

This could be an economic

This could be an economic boom for the twin cities. A look at Lead & Deadwood in South Dakota would be an excellent example of how such a project could resurrect the area. Casinos don't have to be a scum attraction; they can be beneficial to an area if well run. Certainly there are many towns in Nevada that profit from them and the two examples listed above in So. Dakota are certainly successful ones. Give this thing a chance and you may be happy you did. The first thing to do is make sure you have a top flight development team ass you just get one chance at making a good impression and reputation. The next thing on the agenda is a top quality motel across the street at the old Libby/Cowan mill location.

Nathan McCarron's picture

Make an investment in the

Make an investment in the future. Give the land to the YMCA. They have the funds to make something special with that property that WILL benefit the public.

-- "I'm here for the beer and nuts. Only I've not found the beer here, but there are plenty of nuts!"

 's picture

Day late and a dollar short.

Day late and a dollar short. This is something this council should have 'entertained' a couple of years ago. Now, unless the new council agrees, all this will do is tie up the land in court. Don't forget there's going to be a referendum to build a casino in Oxford County next year, and this would have to go to referendum in order to be built. Maine would have to vote on a Casino TWICE within a short time span. It is going to take years for the next council to extricate itself from decisions made by this lame duck one at the last possible minute. Unbelievable.

Tony Morin's picture

Whaaaaaaatttttt!!!!! I have

Whaaaaaaatttttt!!!!! I have been jokingly suggesting this for years! Please somebody make this work!

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