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Turn The Ballot Over

October 21, 2010
by Jane Whitmore
There will be a lot for Palo Alto County voters to consider when they go to the polls Nov. 2:?U.S. Senator; U.S. Representative from District 4; Governor/Lt. Governor; Secretary of State; Auditor of State; Treasure of State; Secretary of Agriculture; Attorney General; State Representative, District 7; County Board of Supervisors for District 2 and District 5 (plus District 1, unopposed); County Treasurer (unopposed); County Recorder (unopposed); and County Attorney. But that’s not all. Remember to turn the ballot over. There are important issues back there. There is a Constitutional Amendment regarding Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy, which our Naturalist has written about (page 13). There is also a public measure to continue the annual tax levy for Palo Alto County Extension, which Dan Voigt wrote about last week. And then there is a public measure regarding gaming in Palo Alto County. Look for the box titled A - Wild Rose Casino &?Resort. Shall the following public measure be adopted? Summary:?The continued operation of gambling games at a gambling structure in Palo Alto County is approved. Check the “Yes”?box. That’s what I plan to do. In May 2005 a gaming license was granted to Palo Alto County Gaming Development Corporation and construction began on Wild Rose Casino &?Resort in Emmetsburg. On May 29, 2006, Wild Rose officially began business. What effects has the Wild Rose had on Palo Alto County? Look at these stats: there are nearly 300 jobs at the casino with a payroll and benefits of more than $7 million annually. Wild Rose pays taxes: $4.4 million in 2007; $8.6 million in 2008; and $8.6 million in 2009. And here’s the best part: Because of Wild Rose Casino, the non-profit group (Palo Alto County Gaming Development Corporation) has awarded grant funding to educational institutions, governmental bodies and non-profit organizations. Look at these totals: $1,581,661 in 2007; $1,649,338 in 2009; and $1,660,778 in 2009. Grant funds have been given to the Arts Council, to local celebration groups, to 4-H?Clubs, Community Theatre and the Gun Club. Parks and Recreation, Little League and Libraries are better because of these grant funds The county hospital and fire departments in every town in Palo Alto County benefit from these grant funds, and so do the cities themselves. It’s a no brainer. You don’t even have to gamble at the casino to reap the benefits. Schools, cities and bunches of non-profits are the winners. First, don’t forget to vote. Second, don’t forget to turn the ballot over. You have to go to the polls to make your vote count...or vote absentee before Nov. 2. Good things don’t happen without our support. In Iowa every county that has a gaming operation has to vote every eight years to continue. We’ve got a great facility, so let’s not forget about it. Let’s show the Iowa Legislature and the Iowa Racing &?Gaming Commission that we appreciate what we have and we want to keep our casino. Vote “Yes” Nov. 2. Voting “Yes” is your way of saying “Thank You” to Wild Rose and Palo Alto County Gaming Development Corporation.
 
 

 

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