Cecil County recently announced 16 not-for-profit organizations out of 64 applicants will receive community grants from the county's take of the haul at the Hollywood Casino in Perryville.
The Town of Port Deposit, which seems to have been cash strapped and ill-prepared to manage finances since the decades ago closing of the Wiley's Manufacturing operation and Bainbridge Naval Training Center, will be picking up in excess of $100,000 to pay for the renovation of a town building, Freeman Hall, as well as a few other projects. Also hitting the jackpot are fire companies, the Boys and Girls Clubs, and a dozen other civic organizations.
By and large, the money can be expected to benefit the community through several projects.
It can also be expected to benefit the folks responsible for handing out the cash, in this case the elected members of the Cecil County Board of Commissioners. Perhaps, the political benefit of being able to give grants to civic groups is at the heart of a lingering dispute between the county commissioners and the Perryville town government.
Though both governments were written into the state law that allows the casino to operate and lay a seeming unending supply of golden eggs, the county has put together a proposal that would phase the town out of being an automatic recipient of casino money.
Not surprisingly, town officials are chafing at the proposal and, even as the community grants were being announced last week by the county, the town was pondering legal action.
Such action would be unfortunate in the extreme, not because Perryville isn't entitled to a share of the casino take, but because paying lawyers and court fees promises to eat up a lot of money that could do a lot of good.
In this case, it's hard to see how Cecil County can justify its position. Perryville, after all, is ground zero for the casino's impact, good and bad.
The county should behave like a good winner in a game of chance and take its substantial winnings and be happy it isn't Harford County, which could have been a winner, but instead gets nothing.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun