September 19, 2014

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Letters to the Editor
Landbase Casino Legislation would be costly for county PDF Print E-mail
Written by thillman   
Thursday, September 18, 2014 9:17 AM

 Editor,

In June of 2104, the Rising Star Casino made a presentation to the City and County Council, four of our local State Legislators, the Aurora Mayor and Attorney, and the Rising Sun Regional Foundation Directors. The purpose of their presentation was to gain support to have new gaming legislation that would move their slots and table games from the boat to their existing pavilion. Proposed Landbase Gaming would eliminate the riverboat in Ohio County.

They stated that if this would be permitted, it would reduce their operating cost by a significant amount. Moving gaming operation from their boat to land would require new gaming legislation to be approved by both Houses of the General Assembly and the Governor. We understand their reasoning and have supported them in most of their efforts to reduce their operating cost. However, if their gaming operations are moved to a Landbase operation, it would eliminate the property tax that benefits the city, county and school. The Rising Star Casino’s boat would no longer be used and most likely would be sold for scrap value.

Shown below is an estimate of our taxpayer’s loss based on the boat’s assessed value in 2013 pay 2014 taxes. Their change to a Land Base operation could potentially result in a loss of property tax revenues of $162,672.

Property Tax Revenue Losses per Local Government Units are as follows:

Rising Star Boat Assessed Value $12,759,600

Tax Rates: Loss in Tax Revenues

County .3996 ($50,759)

Township .0100 ($1,175)

School .4387 ($55,976)

City: .3728 ($47,567)

Library .0408 ($5,218)

Special District .0129 ($1645)

Total Tax Rate 1.2749 ($162,672)

Those in attendance of the Casino’s presentation from the city and county agree that there should be requirements made for the casino to make investments in new capital improvements and/or additions with any Landbase operation. We have spoken with several of our school personnel, business and community leaders, taxpayers and neighbors on this issue. Everyone who we have spoken with supports our request for a commitment from the casino to invest in capital improvements (buildings, facilities, & other structures) as a condition for them to move to landbase operations.

All of Rising Star’s local casino competitors have made large capital expenditures including new additions, remodeling, and expansion. Rising Star has spent money only for ongoing operational and typical maintenance requirements. A new three story hotel was built for them and opened in late 2013 with funds from Rising Sun First Inc. Rising Star Casino has a lease purchase and managing agreement with Rising Sun First for the hotel operations. Rising Star Casino did not invest any of their money in the hotel project in land or construction. Typical maintenance and operational expenses are not capital investments. Those expenses are the cost of doing business. A commitment to invest is anticipated and should be required.

By contrast, we are told that the Evansville Casino is willing to invest up to $100,000,000 on land base projects for their new casino if allowed to go land base. Why would it not be expected for the Rising Star Casino to do the same for Rising Sun and Ohio County?

In summary, moving their slots and table games to an “old” pavilion without capital investment or nothing else added will not solve their declining admissions and revenue situation. Rising Star Casino should be required to make a capital investment of at least an equal amount that that would result in our loss of property tax revenue caused by them moving to landbase.

Dill Dorrell

County & City Taxpayer

Business and Residential Property Owner

Member of Ohio County Council

 

Source: Indiana Gaming Commission

Comparison August 2014 with year ago month August 2013

Admission August 2013 82,555 Casino Win 2013 $5,698,761

August 2014 67,364 Casino Win 2014 $4,447,019

Loss (15,191) -18% Loss ($1,251,742) - 22%

Note: August 2013 No new hotel

August 2014 New 100 room hotel

 
Thanks for support, many good years PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tim Bovard   
Thursday, September 11, 2014 1:54 PM

Editor:
I would like to express my humble appreciation and gratitude to my friends, family, and members of the community who have extended their support and opened their hearts to me over these past several months. There are too many to mention, but you know who you are.
Life can deal us difficult times, and for me, this has been one of those difficult times.
Your kind words, donations and friendships have been what have ultimately kept me going.
The past 17-plus years working with the City of Rising Sun were good years, and years I will remember. I am confident that the future will hold promising times and am excited to see what the future holds for me.
I owe you all a great deal of gratitude and I thank you all.

Tim Bovard

 
Good news in Rising Sun PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steven Jimenez   
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 4:18 PM

Dear Editor,

I would like to let you and your readers know some good news about the Rising Star Casino & Resort which tends to be overlooked especially in the face of increased competition from Ohio. For example, this summer has turned out very well; exceeding our expectations which we think deserves recognition.      
The new hotel addition has increased our availability by 50 percent while still maintaining strong summer occupancy of nearly 90 percent. Certainly, this has contributed to increased gaming revenue which has proportionately declined less year over year than some other area casinos.
We also must remember the unusually tough and long winter that thwarted our true potential. The property is back on track now as evidenced by our performance in July and August
But, we are most proud of our employees who have continually done exceptionally well on delivering our guest satisfaction standards such as in July with a score of 98 percent. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the Rising Star team for their hard work and dedication to great customer service.
The Rising Star Casino & Resort continues to provide a great attraction and economic engine for the area and we hope that all the members of the community appreciate what we do and  endeavor to be supportive and positive about our future together.

Sincerely Yours,

Steven Jimenez
General Manager

 
When others wear multple hats, why can counselor ‘coach’ band for 3 months? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Janie Craig   
Thursday, August 21, 2014 4:06 PM

Editor:

I am still pondering the school board’s decision on hiring the new counselor. The school has allowed Mrs. Crag to be counselor and teach one period of upper level math.

The school has allowed Mr. Majewski to be principal, teach one period of upper level math, and coach volleyball. The school as allowed Mr. Majewski to be the principal for BOTH the elementary-middle school and the high school.

The school is currently allowing Mr. Bostic to serve as principal, athletic director, and varsity girl’s basketball coach.

The school is allowing Ms. Sauerhage to be the elementary-middle school counselor, coach varsity cross county and coach middle school track.

The school is allowing Mr. Graham to be assistant athletic director, teach one period of social studies, coach varsity golf, be the assistant coach for varsity basketball and be the teacher 1:1 coordinator.

Why was allowing Mr. Eads to be high school counselor and “coach” the marching band for three months, for free from what I have heard, such an issue for the school board? This raises many question sin my mind as to how this was handled, and more importantly, WHY.

Janie Craig
Rising Sun

 
Bowman family thankful to all PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Donald Bowman Scholarship Fund   
Thursday, August 21, 2014 4:06 PM

The 2nd Annual Donald Bowman Scholarship Night 5k was a huge success on Saturday Aug. 9. We cannot thank the Vineyard Golf Course enough for allowing us to host the 5k. We also want to extend our thanks to all of our volunteers and Switzerland County EMS. Special thanks goes to Robin Bruce and The Pleasant Ridge Church of Christ for supplying the snack table.

The event would not have been a success without our many sponsors, volunteers, and donations. We would like to recognize our sponsors and tell them thanks.

Gold-Sons of the American Legion Squadron #59 Rising Sun, Ind., Woodyjam.com, Bucher Services, Bucher Burial Vaults, The Sign Store, The Vineyard Golf Course, Everything Under The Sun. and Theresa Scott Photography
Silver-Mayor Branden Roeder, Rae Baker Gipson-Clerk Treasurer, Rising Sun City Council, Bernie and Lynn Ann Huff, Feustel Family, The Gibbens Family, and The Titkemeyers

Bronze-Alyse Knapp- In Honor of Rick Robinson, Donita Valentine-Valentine Realty, Lavelle’s Tax Service, United Community Bank, David & Tammy Hogg, Russell Dunning & Family, AdvoCare-Angie Lozier (584-7413) and Amy Hochstrasser (513-515-6339), Deville’s Rising Sun Pharmacy, White’s Farms, Bear Branch Supply, Sharon & Bill Lucas, and Walmart

Medals-The Vollmer`s, Rick & Kathy Kelly, Hair Solutions-Connie Hoffman, Hair Solutions-Lainie Grogg, Mickie Furnish, Rising Sun Main Street, Lavelle’s Tax Service, Steve & Dorma Melchers, Ashley Cochran, Alice Cyrus-Country Star Crafts, Gregory`s Maintenance & Repair, Stevie & Tammy Johns, Baker Family, Evelina Coker Brown, Attorney at Law, Raine Highman-In memory of John Palmer, The Meister Family. The Dugle Family, Loretta Miller-In memory of Scott Miller, White`s Appraisal`s, White Pine Construction, Pondra & Joe Ayler, Jim & Carol Richardville, Aylor Salt Service, Bob & Grace Browning, The Wallace Family, and David & Danielle Titkemeyer
Donations-Rising Star Casino*Resort, Cappels Creations, Principled Chiropractic-Dr Troy Smith, Rising Sun Wellness Spa-Jennifer Brittain, Janet Bowman-Janet’s’ Cleaning, Neaman Floral, Perfect North Slopes, Amber Fisk-Tupperware, Personally Yours, Cincinnati Bengals, Cincinnati Reds, Rising Sun City, Whitey`s Liquor Store, Hickory House, Caudillio`s, Rockies, Hair Solutions Lainie Grogg, Panama Pete`s Tanning Spa, Remax-Lori Eisert, Kathy Kelly, Car Country- Tom Tepe, Aylor Salt Service, Origami Owl Jeannie Siekman, Rusty Dunning, Shay Brown, Lauren Grace, Alyse Knapp, Ashley Cochran, Dena Cochran, Robin Bruce, Pleasant Ridge Church of Christ, Janet Bowman, Abby Friend, Pampered Chef Consultant, April Johnson, Charlie & Shirley Levi, United Community Bank, Debbie Luers-Simply Said Agent, Amanda Wallace, and Bev Tague.
 

If anyone was missed we are truly sorry but we greatly appreciate your help!

Thank you,

The Donald Bowman Scholarship Fund
Janet, Daniel, Doug, & Danika

 
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