In a letter to the state Harness Racing Commission, state Sen. Elder Vogel called for an adjustment to the deadlines for the Lawrence County Downs Racetrack.
The letter, co-signed by Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman and President Pro Temore Joe Scarnati, addressed several concerns Vogel feels will impede the successful completion of the Racino Project currently being undertaken by Endeka Entertainment.
The deadlines call for construction to begin by October 2016 and for the first live-betting race by October 2017. If the deadlines aren’t met, the state could revoke Endeka’s license.
The letter, dated Nov. 9, is included below:
We are writing to you in reference to the Harness Racing Commission’s recent Order regarding the Racino Project currently being undertaken by Endeka Entertainment LP in Mahoning Township, Lawrence County. We are deeply concerned that the Order that was set forth puts in place unobtainable deadlines that put the entire project in serious jeopardy.
If this project falls apart as a result of the recent Order,t he Commonwealth stands to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in potential tax revenue, including the $67,5 million license fee. This outcome would also result in a loss of substantial tax revenues for Lawrence County and Mahoning Township and deprive the region of direct and indirect economic impacts of more than $100 million while putting at risk more than one thousand good-paying construction, race track and casino jobs that would otherwise have gone to Pennsylvania residents.
This project is incredibly important to our Commonwealth and the future growth of Lawrence County and we ask that the Harness Racing Commission reconsider its recent Order and work with Endeka Entertainment LP to come up with a schedule of reasonable deadlines that will allow the project to stay on track.
Thank you for your commitment and tireless service to the Commonwealth.