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Sulphur Mayor Chris Duncan. (American Press Archives)

Sulphur Mayor Chris Duncan. (American Press Archives)

Gaming Revenue board puts off vote on Cove Lane interchange project

Last Modified: Thursday, March 28, 2013 10:01 AM

Gaming Revenue board puts off vote on Cove Lane interchange project

Calcasieu Parish Gaming Revenue District board members agreed Wednesday to put off passing a resolution to use future gambling revenue from the Ameristar Casino Resort for the Interstate 210-Cove Lane interchange project until the Sulphur City Council considers the matter at its April 8 meeting.

State Department of Transportation and Development officials estimate the project will cost $80 million. Of that, $20 million would be contributed by the parish, the city of Lake Charles, Port of Lake Charles, Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau, Pinnacle Entertainment, Sulphur, Vinton, Iowa and DeQuincy. DOTD, state capital outlay money and Ameristar would cover the remaining $60 million.

The Lake Charles City Council, Police Jury and other local entities have agreed to contribute $20 million of their gambling money from Ameristar on the project, except Sulphur.

The “small cities” — Sulphur, DeQuincy, Vinton and Iowa — are expected to get $548,100 in annual gambling revenue from Ameristar. They would spend $232,000 annually for five years on the project. Sulphur is expected to receive $232,105 in annual revenue from Ameristar and spend $98,245 a year for five years.

Roach said the smaller cities now get 4.5 percent of annual gambling revenue, subject to a cap of $1 million. He said the board is considering raising that share to 8.7 percent with no cap.

Sulphur Mayor Chris Duncan said he does not believe $80 million will cover the cost of the project.

Roach said the Cove Lane project could go out for bids in May and that the Ameristar Casino Resort should open by June 14.

The gambling district board includes Roach, Parish Administrator Bryan Beam, Police Jury President Shannon Spell and Vinton Mayor Kenny Stinson.

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