Construction stops on new Pittsburg casino - KOAM TV 7

Construction stops on new Pittsburg casino

Pittsburg, KS -

Developers of a new casino in Pittsburg decide to stop construction.  

It may look like a lot of dirt is still being moved at the construction site, and that is the case.  Construction crews are doing some remediation in the area, making sure water will flow to the right areas.  But that's all construction crews are being allowed to do.

Developers behind the new Kansas Crossing casino believe there's too much of a gamble right now that the project will move forward.

"Right now, the focus is on addressing the legal action," says Carrie Tedore with Kansas Crossing.

The legal action is coming from developers of another proposed casino, and nearby Cherokee County commissioners.  They say the state ignored its own statute that called for a large casino development.  Cherokee County commissioners say the Kansas Crossing casino is too small of a project to greatly benefit the state and local governments.

"The lawsuit is aimed at the state and the process for granting the casino contract to Kansas Crossing," says Tedore.

Kansas Crossing developers hope the litigation will be dismissed.

"We believe the process was done fairly and in the right manner," says Tedore.

But Cherokee County Attorney Nathan Coleman says a judge has yet to set a calendar for how the litigation will even be considered.  Regardless, the Kansas Lottery Commission has given the Kansas Crossing project a 90-day extension for being completed.

"To take the risk of putting a 72-million-dollar development at a corner where, even albeit it unlikely, it may not have a license, doesn't make business sense," says Tedore.

We are being told by the Kansas Crossing developers that there are no talks right now of requesting another construction extension.

The casino's original day for completion was on or before July second.  That date has been extended to September 30th.

If workers with Kansas Crossing decide to take full advantage of the 90-day extension period. state and local governments stand to miss out on projected gaming revenues.

Kansas Crossing says a 90-day extension would cost the state a little more than two-million dollars.  It says the extension will cost Crawford County, Cherokee County, and the City of Pittsburg a little more than 88-thousand dollars.

The head of Crawford County's Convention and Visitors Bureau says the extension benefits no one.

"We think it's a big piece of the pie, as far as growing southeast Kansas.  Not just Crawford County, not just Pittsburg, but all of Southeast Kansas.  Hopefully the folks who are against this can see that eventually, too, and jump on board," says B.J. Harris.

"You see stats all the time that this is the poorest region of Kansas.  And those numbers may be the truth, financially, but if we come together I think we could really see that growth and get rid of those stats and that negative perception of Southeast Kansas," says Harris.


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