The St. Tammany Republican Parish Executive Committee last night came out against any efforts to develop a casino and entertainment district in Slidell.
The organization passed a resolution against Parish President Kevin Davis’ plan to create an entertainment district near the city, anchored by a casino barge on Lake Pontchartrain. Davis announced last month he planned to ask the Parish Council for permission to ask the Louisiana Legislature for a referendum on the ballot asking voters to allow gambling in St. Tammany Parish.
The Republican executive committee measure passed 12-4.
District 1 representative Mark Write, who proposed the resolution, says the proposal won’t stimulate growth and economic expansion and will pull money from other sectors of the economy.
“Our opposition to this stems from economic concerns,” says District 4 representative Col. Evans Spiceland, “not from a moral opposition to gambling.”
The proposed entertainment center calls for a hotel, restaurants, shops and a place for international and national stars to perform. The development is planned for property owned by businessman Robert Torres. Slidell would share in the revenue from a casino, which Davis estimates could generate $8 million to $11 million annual in taxes for parish coffers.
The executive committee also passed a resolution urging the Parish Council to overturn a Zoning Commission decision to issue a permit for a waste transfer station on Hwy. 25 near Hard Hat Road north of Covington, and another urging lawmakers to explore options to address property values, assessments and millage roll-ups. However, the measure urges them to maintain the homestead exemption at current levels.