Plan Gets Mixed Reviews in Maine
- The city council reacted with a mix of enthusiasm and skepticism
August 22 to a pitch by former Gov. Kenneth M. Curtis and others
looking to build a $400 million to $600 million casino and resort.
Keeley called the casino idea "the best thing that has ever
come down the pike for Biddeford." But others were skeptical.
isn't telling the truth," said Councilor Clement Fleurent,
referring to estimates that 4,000 jobs would be created.
which involved Curtis, two Indian officials and Thomas Tureen, attorney
for the Penobscot Nation and Passamaquoddy Tribe, was the first
such session with leaders of a Maine community.
plan to decide on September 3 whether voters will vote in November
on the casino issue, according to Mayor Donna Dion.
also plan to meet with Sanford officials on September 10.
The two Indian
tribes have said they want to open a casino in southern Maine, but
they need the Legislature to pass a law giving them permission,
and all four candidates for governor have said they would veto such
Voters in Berwick,
Eliot, Kennebunkport, Kittery, North Berwick, Ogunquit, Wells, Wiscasset
and York have also passed measures opposing casinos.
At meeting on
August 26, Curtis tried to allay fears that a casino would bring
crime and other problems to Biddeford.
an economic opportunity that should be carefully considered,"
Curtis told the council. "It would be a very clean, good and
Gov. Barry Dana said a casino would provide "self-reliance,
dignity and economic development for the tribes and the state."
the state should consider a casino as a way to deal with a revenue