Lewiston casino gets boost

LEWISTON — Instead of campaigning for his casino plan, Stavros Mendros spent most of Tuesday trying to guarantee a spot on the November 2011 ballot.

Lewiston voters came out in support of the casino option Tuesday, voting 5,041 to 2,574  to give Mendros and his Great Falls Recreation and Redevelopment LLC an option to buy the saw-toothed-roofed Bates Mill No. 5 and the land surrounding it.

At the same time, the effort to collect signatures for a statewide vote on a Lewiston casino kicked into high gear across the state, with signature collectors working 93 polling places from Houlton to Kittery.

Back at home, Mendros said he was juggling the effort to collect petitions with the local referendum on the casino. City voters were being asked to approve a sales option for the casino.

Mendros said he was as sure as ever that the casino will be a success — if voters let it.

"I'm not saying everyone will come here, but many will," Mendros said. "And we have more to offer than just about any other place. We're a city of festivals, so people may come for the casino and stay for the Balloon Festival."

Now the group's mission is to get the matter on the November 2o11 ballot. The group needs to gather at least 55,087 signatures by the end of the year to qualify.

Mendros estimated his gatherers would end the night collecting 15,000 signatures. He said he was answering calls from gatherers around the city requesting more petitions.

"We're getting a lot of signatures,  and that's a good sign," he said. "I feel pretty good about things."

Monday's vote was the first step, and Mendros said it was important. It cleared the way for the city to give Great Falls Recreation and Redevelopment LLC an option to buy the building. According to the ballot language, the group will pay Lewiston $150,000 in several installments through December 2011.

According to the agreement, the group's first $10,000 payment is due by July 8. A second $10,000 payment would be due Feb. 28, 2011, and a $30,000 payment would be due July 31, 2011. A final $100,000 payment would be due on Dec. 31, 2011 — two months after the matter goes before voters at a statewide referendum.

If voters approve that question, the group will pay a fair-market value price for the property.

staylor@sunjournal.com

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Jose Leiva/Sun Journal

Jose Leiva/Sun Journal Stavros Mendros left, Mike Marcotte center ,and Ron Chicoine left, of the pro casino group are all smiles as they monitor early vote results looking favorable for the casino on Tuesday at Fish Bones in Lewiston.

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Comments

Dee Robinson's picture

It is about time!

I would sign the petition and I will vote for it! Maybe this will help the schools and others hit by budget cuts.

Drug dealers and prostitutes....Have you been to Lewiston in last 10 years? Ones already there are afraid of the competition. This isn't only in Lewston and it is unfair for me to state it like it is, but lets face facts these things already exist there!

Brian Allen Small's picture

Lets Give It A Rest

Traffic? Like that's a bad thing? Before people bash this fine idea of a casino one needs to get down the Maine Turnpike and look at the real world! I've been to CT and NJ to the casino's and its a great experience.

Yes people there is life after Kittery and if you've never been out of Lewiston its time to wake up and smell the roses or in the case the jobs and the benefits of this casino.

Why should we let those buses leave with the dollars daily to CT when we can have the benefits here?

Its time to get into the new century and end the that's the way it was and that's the way it will be mentality that has been Lewiston forever.

traffic

traffic is only bad between 3:30 to 5:30pm....and people need something in this area to spur economic activity .. ahhhh perhaps gondola rides down the canal or a fun park so childre may come too

%LAFONTAINE ATLAS SUPPLY CO.'s picture

traffic

If it's traffic containing people spending money in L-A I don't have a problem with it at all.

Tony Morin's picture

Here we go

with the "drug dealers, prostitutes and petty crooks" routine. You know who goes to Uncassville? Memeres and peperes from Lewiston on a bus that leaves from the Park and Ride to spend their money and have some fun.

Scott Pare's picture

traffic

Too much traffic would probably be a nice problem to have, wouldn't it?

DANNY FITZSIMMONS's picture

Time to get the hell out of

Time to get the hell out of Lewiston folks can you imagine the traffic nightmare that awaits. How much you think its going to cost to fix the ignorant city developers grandstand sidewaks for traffic flow or should I say return the streets to the proper means that of transportation not of eye candy Oh russell street is the newest numb nuts development by these idiots we are talking tens of millions folks and with these current crooks in charge be prepared for roundabouts and other neat little things which will make the most money to the construction companies and developers and the greatest amount of headaches to the travelers who have to drive their patterns, or maybe marble streets next to strip what ever is left in the taxpayer's pockets and then the most stupid of the taxpayers will vote for more debt through bonds!!!

Melissa  Dunn's picture

wow!

wow!

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