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Casino revenue could aid Cincinnati neighborhoods

Tana Weingartner

Cincinnati's Economic Development Director is asking Council to use some the expected casino tax revenues to fund business growth in city neighborhoods. 

Odis Jones made a presentation Tuesday to a joint meeting of the Budget and Finance and Strategic Growth Committees. 

Jones is seeking $4 million for what's called a “Focus 52” Bond Pool.

“To provide capital via loans or via direct investment into projects within the neighborhoods that continue to spur investment and job creation,” Jones said.

The city's budget director is estimating the city will receive $8 million in casino revenue next year and that number grows to $14 million in 2014.

Council Member Wendell Young likes the idea.  But said he wants to make sure all neighborhoods have a shot at the funding.

“What I want to see in this proposal is a methodology put in place that will assist those underserved neighborhoods with the assets that many of them perhaps do not have or don’t have enough of,” Young said.  “So that they can compete on a level playing field with the other communities and they don’t keep getting left behind and we don’t take their money away from them to use in another community.”

City Council is likely to discuss the bond pool as part of budget negotiations later this year.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.