Why should Maryland Heights residents care?
There are a lot of reasons to object to this plan, but the one that will hit closest to home is MONEY. The building of yet another casino within a 15-20 minute drive of Maryland Heights will create a large hole in our city revenues. The City of Maryland Heights receives a good chunk of revenue from Harrah's Casino; a hit to Harrah's revenue is a direct hit to Maryland Heights' revenue. Just as it has been proven that building large big-box retail centers does not add new revenue or new jobs to our region, it just moves the same money and jobs to a new place. A new casino will not bring new revenue to St. Louis County.
The only thing missing from this misguided plan is an offer of TIF funds to help build the casino in St. Louis, a city who already has half the casinos in the state. I'm sure that will come if a casino license becomes available and if it is awarded to St. Louis.
Developing this area in North St. Louis County brings up all of the same issues that we have here with the Howard Bend development plans:
- Increased taxes for all citizens to pay for infrastructure costs
- Increased MSD storm water fees and increased flooding, increased pollution and degradation of our drinking water source
- Destruction of wildlife habitat and wetlands, including disruption of a major international flyway for migrating birds
- The loss of local farmland and a secure local food source.
Action is critical!
It is very important that everyone take just 5 minutes and either call or e-mail their St. Louis County Council representative and tell them to vote against rezoning this property for a casino. It is time they become responsible for their actions. They need to stop playing shell games with our revenue by supporting irresponsible developments that degrade our communities and shift money around the region instead of bringing new economic opportunities into the county. They need to start supporting smart, sustainable developments that actually grow our economy.
To find your St. Louis County Council Representative and their contact information go to: St. Louis County Council