Impact fees totaling more than $21 million from the Maryland Live! casino in Hanover will pay for fire and police services, school renovations and a community health center, officials announced Wednesday.
Under state law, 5.5 percent of profits from slot machines at Maryland casinos must be spent in local impact grants. The $20 million in grants announced Wednesday represent Maryland Live's contribution for fiscal 2014, the budgeting year that began July 1.
The money is split as follows: $7 million to the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, $3.7 million to Anne Arundel Community College, $3 million to Meade High School, $2.7 million to the Anne Arundel County Police Department, $1.9 million to the proposed People's Community Health Center in Severn, $1.5 million for transportation projects, $600,000 to Jessup Elementary School, $500,000 to the Provinces Library in Severn, $150,000 to the BWI Partnership and $100,000 to the Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corp.
Division Chief Keith Swindle, a spokesman for the county Fire Department, said the agency will use the $7 million for staffing, equipment and maintenance at the three stations closest to the casino: Jessup, Severn and Harmans-Dorsey. Past impact grants paid for a new basic life support ambulance at Harmans-Dorsey, and 10 people will be hired to staff the ambulance.
Police Chief Kevin Davis plans to use the money to add up to 18 officers to patrol the casino, Arundel Mills mall and surrounding communities, said his spokesman, Justin Mulcahy.
Another $250,000 will go to community support grants. The deadline for community and nonprofit groups to apply for the grants is Oct. 31. Applicants must serve people within three miles of the casino. Applications are posted online at http://www.aacounty.org/LDC/index.cfm.
A Local Development Council, which includes representatives from the county, the casino, business organizations and local residents, helps determine how the casino's local impact fees are spent.
Maryland Live!, located adjacent to Arundel Mills mall, opened in June 2012 with slot machines. Table games were added in April after state lawmakers legalized table gambling. A 52-table poker room opened in August.
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