Mayor Kevin Hurst testifying before the House State and Local Government Committee, Vice-Chair Anielski in the background.

State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) recently introduced legislation aimed at making changes to the Casino Operator Settlement Fund’s second payment. Sub. House Bill 377 requires, when a commercial racetrack’s real property is located in more than one municipality or township, the second $1 million payment from the Casino Operator Settlement Fund is to be split proportionately among those municipalities or townships.

The legislation would only affect two of Ohio’s six commercial racetracks: Thistledown and Northfield Park, both located in Northeast Ohio. These two areas are affected because they are split between more than one municipality.

“My legislation would seek to have the second settlement payment be paid in actual proportion to the amount of real property located in each municipal corporation or township,” Rep. Anielski said. “10.9% percent of the Northfield Park racetrack is in the Village of Walton Hills , which means the Village would receive $109,000 of the second $1 million payment. It is important to note that each municipal corporation or township receiving such a payment shall use at least 50 percent of the funds received for infrastructure or capital improvements. The committee asked direct questions to the mayors as to how much money was spent on infrastructure already and about any future approved infrastructure plans.”

Sub. House Bill 377 is currently being heard in the House State and Local Government Committee and has had two hearings, which included proponent and opponent testimony. Two mayors from Northeast Ohio who testified in support of this legislation were Mayor Kevin Hurst of Walton Hills and Mayor Don Kuchta of Macedonia.

In his testimony to the committee, Mayor Hurst said, “I ask you to please recognize and support Sub House Bill 377 that would benefit our Village…” Mayor Kuchta spoke to the increased traffic and infrastructure needs he is experiencing due to the opening of the Hardrock Rocksino and accepts the potential 6.2%, or $62,000 to the City of Macedonia.

“Since there is an increase in traffic flow, it comes down to assisting my constituents in their infrastructure and capital needs, which is the right thing to do,” Rep. Anielski said. “We will continue the committee process for everyone to have an opportunity to speak directly on Substitute House Bill 377 and I greatly appreciate the mayors’ support of my legislation.”

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