LEWISTON — A downtown casino would bring in at least $2.3 million for the city coffers, City Administrator Ed Barrett told councilors Tuesday night.
Barrett outlined his views how the proposed casino in the Bates Mill Building No. 5 on Main Street would affect the city.
Councilors agreed, approving a resolution that urged Maine voters to support the Lewiston casino at the polls.
Voters statewide will go to the polls Nov. 8 to decide the fate of Lewiston's casino plan. If they approve, it will allow Great Falls Recreation and Redevelopment LLC to purchase the sawtooth-roofed building and use it for a casino.
Barrett said the city would get at least $921,000 in direct revenues from gaming operations. That includes money paid into the general fund, money shared for joint Lewiston-Auburn operations, downtown redevelopment, energy grants and money for the growth council for Androscoggin County.
It also includes an estimated $1.4 million in new property taxes.
It doesn't count another $2.9 million in gaming revenue earmarks for regional rail, bike path and Androscoggin River water quality improvements, an estimated 300 new jobs and a jump-start to downtown development.
"This doesn't take into account any ancillary development that might occur because of the casino," Barrett said. "We might see more of that kind of development if the casino comes online."
Most councilors and Mayor Larry Gilbert agreed, saying the casino would do good things for the Twin Cities.
"I look at this as an essential catalyst for business to grow in this area," Councilor Larry Poulin said. "I think that people really are poised and ready to go as far as what to do and how to grow. I think they just need some kind of catalyst to get things started."
Gilbert said he was excited about the potential for job growth.
"We've not seen something that produces this amount of jobs in quite some time," Gilbert said. "It benefits us and the entire state, I think."