City pushes back casino deadline

Casino Bill

DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — City council voted Tuesday night to push back a planning deadline for a casino. Proposals will be due August 21st.

The meeting became tense at points. Council spent roughly two hours on the topic, with public comment lasting nearly an hour. Mayor Rickey Williams reminded people of Governor JB Pritzker’s timeline: 120 days to submit a casino application for Danville.

Mayor Williams met with aldermen on June 20 and then with the public on July 2. A casino steering committee, advised by developer Dave Cocagne, presented its findings at both meetings. The committee recommended using property off I-74 at the Lynch Road exit for the casino, but developers had until the end of July to submit their own proposals.

Williams said he didn’t hear complaints about any of the process at the time, but that changed at Tuesday night’s city council meeting. Some aldermen argued there hasn’t been transparency, and questioned if the steering committee held too much sway.

Some people at the meeting urged council to consider a downtown site, saying it would spur economic growth. Williams said there wasn’t a good spot because some of the open land near the riverfront is at risk of flooding. People said they wanted more time to hear proposals. Alderman Steve Foster tried to get the date pushed back to August 31, but the council voted to settle on August 21st.

The complete application for the casino is still due to the state by October 28.

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