Board members recommend I-90 corridor site for casino

ROCKFORD (WREX) — For the first time, we have an idea of where the Winnebago County Board hopes the casino will be located.

The county will receive 20 percent of the new casino’s tax revenue, so board members have a vested interest in where they would like the casino to be located to maximize profits.

In a 5-3 vote, the Economic Development Committee voted to pass a resolution to recommend the I-90 corridor location become the future site of the casino.

This doesn’t mean the board has recommended a specific proposal. It just considered potential location sites. In addition, the resolution chosen by the committee still must pass a full board vote, which would likely occur Thursday at the board’s next meeting.

Back in July, the Loves Park City Council and the Machesney Park Village Board also recommended the I-90 corridor site. The municipalities also have a stake in the game with a share of five percent of casino tax revenue.

Not everyone was happy about tonight’s committee vote though, not because of the result, but due to the timing.

“I oppose the process that we implemented,” Winnebago County Board member Jean Crosby said. “We were premature and I still believe we’re premature. I would’ve liked to have heard from the city.”

Technically, the city of Rockford extended the deadline for proposals to Aug. 30th, which added two extra weeks for submissions.

Crosby and board member Dan Fellars both said they wished there was more time to consider additional data.

Ultimately though, the deadline for the city of Rockford’s recommendation to the Illinois Gaming Board is Oct. 25th, and it will have the final say on where Rockford’s new casino will be built.

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