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Monday, June 16, 2008
Don Barden Still Limping Toward 780 Million Casino Loan...
All 19 Democratic state House members from Allegheny County have rallied behind Don Barden is his bid to complete the $780 million in financing for his North Shore casino. Barden got a bridge loan, but has still been unable to secure financing for the rest of the project. He has been summoned to the State Gaming Board to answer financing questions. In a letter this week, the legislative delegation urged the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to stick with Mr. Barden despite the difficulty he has had completing the financing for the project."The city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County are anticipating significant additional revenue from the casino's operations, and Pennsylvania taxpayers are anticipating additional property tax relief. The most expeditious way to achieve these goals is to allow PITG to continue to proceed with its financing and construction of the casino," the letter stated. Despite the problems, the delegation pointed out, the casino is scheduled to open next May. State Rep. Dan Frankel, chair of the delegation, said Mr. Barden isn't the only one having trouble getting financing these days because of turmoil in the financial markets. 70 percent of the Steel structuring of the Casino is complete, and I have said the worst case scenario would be an unfinished Casino gracing our North Shore. Barden has said that he is unsure if he will have financing by the next board meeting in July making board final approval of the loan an unrealistic goal. Lets hope this is business as usual not a disaster in the making.