BREWER (AP) – A Las Vegas-based developer who has been working to create a proposed $30 million “racino” in Bangor has taken an option to buy a tract of land in neighboring Brewer.

Bangor officials were surprised when Brewer disclosed that Capital 7 LLC had taken out an option on an undisclosed tract.

The Brewer City Council will meet Friday to consider whether to place a question on the local ballot on Nov. 4 related to the use of slot machines at a harness-racing facility located in the city.

Capital 7 has agreed to pay the costs associated with the referendum, according to Brewer officials.

Across the Penobscot River in Bangor, where voters already approved slot machines at its horse track at Bass Park, local officials registered mild consternation over the latest development.

“We’ve got the harness racing in Bangor. We’ve got the track. We’ve got the horse folks and the whole history in Bangor. I certainly think they (Capital 7) would look to us,” said Bangor Mayor Nichi Farnham.

To open a racino – a horse track with slot machines – a statewide question on slot machines must receive voter approval on Nov. 3. Brewer voters would then have to approve a local question on slot machines.

Bangor held its local vote on the matter on June 10 and approved the use of slot machines at a harness racing track.

Brewer officials made it clear that they had not tried to lure Capital 7 LLC to their community. In fact, communication between Bangor and Brewer officials has been frequent on the matter to avoid the perception that Brewer was trying to interfere, according to officials.

Nonetheless, Andrew “Drew” Sachs, Brewer’s economic development director, said the city was a viable candidate for the racino. “There’s a reason for us to believe there may be legitimate interest here,” Sachs said.

AP-ES-10-02-03 1040EDT

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