Susan Burkins, who owns a strip of businesses on Route 40 in town along with her husband, Rex, asked if anyone had thought of asking a lawyer for any of the other casinos nearby what their process was for local impact funds. Town Commissioner Barbara Brown responded that the state wrote the legislation and they weren't able to anticipate what would be included in it until it was complete.
Stanley Campbell, of the 300 block of Beacon Point Drive, asked if there would be any "safety nets in place" in case the town's share of 35 percent decreases when re-negotiation comes up. Eberhardt agreed that there should be something, possibly in the agreement, that would help prevent that from happening, but the silver lining was in 15 years there will be more data on the town's impact from the casino and it can then be better judged if the 35 percent is fair.
Rex Burkins also spoke up, asking why it has taken so long for Perryville to receive its share and how the county has been getting money from the local impact funds. Several commissioners responded that it was because no agreement had been reached yet between the city and county.
"I can't believe it's taken a year to get a small town's portion," Burkins said. Commissioner Moore said the state sent the money to the county. County Commissioner Diana Broomell added that's how the legislation was written.
Michael Glen Jasper Jr., of the 100 block of John Street, stood up from his seat in frustration and said that the two sides going back and forth for so long was "a prime example of what is wrong" with government. After calling the situation "ridiculous," Jasper left.
Matt Roath, of the 400 block of Sumpter Drive, said the people's frustration comes from how the county has treated the town throughout the process.
Dawson, the town commissioner, wasn't shy either about expressing his frustration. He asked the county commissioners if other towns have gotten money from their share of the funds and a couple people said yes, naming a few county entities, such as the Haven House in Elkton and Christmas in April, both non-profits.
"It's like you punched us right in the face," Dawson said, when the town's people see and hear other places receiving money but Perryville still hasn't gotten any. He added that all of the other towns should wait to receive money until Perryville gets its share.
"I believe all the money belongs to the town," Dawson said, adding the town should sue the county over the funds. Moore responded to Dawson, saying it's the state that should be sued, not the county, since the state wrote the legislation.
Mullin said the agreement would be put on the county's Oct. 4 work session agenda for further discussion and to plan a possible vote; the county commissioners are not allowed to vote on contracts during a work session.