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November 1, 2012

Racetrack owners pursue permit applications

NEW CASTLE — Endeka Entertainment has applied for permits required to develop a racetrack/casino in Mahoning Township.

The Lawrence County commissioners were notified this week by the Michael Baker Jr. engineering firm of Beaver that the new Philadelphia-based owners are applying to renew permits sought in 2008 when Centaur Gaming owned the project.

If approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the permits will be transferred to Endeka.

These permits involve improvements to Route 422, stormwater controls on Baird Road, and controls for stormwater discharge associated with construction and operation of the proposed racetrack.

Plans for the complex include widening a portion of Route 422 to accommodate traffic and extending stormwater lines from the site across private property and to Baird Road.

The following proposed details for the project are included in the application:

•A one-mile oval racetrack

•260,000 square feet of grandstand, clubhouse and casino, with potential for a 60,000-square-foot expansion

•A 200-room hotel that includes a 20,000-square-foot restaurant and 20,000 square feet of meeting space

•A 50-room dormitory with 100 beds for employees

•A 14,000-square-foot dining/recreation/administration building, also for employees

•A 9,000-square-foot maintenance building with two 1,000-gallon, above-ground fuel storage tanks

•Eight horse barns, each with 106 stalls

•A 9,000-square-foot horse paddock

•A 4,000-square-foot manure storage building

Documents also state:

•The facility is projected to employ 1,500 people and serve 14,000 visitors per day.

•Pennsylvania-American Water will provide drinking water to the complex.

•Stormwater will be collected in a 37-acre area within the racetrack oval and will be used for irrigation and watering the track to maintain a consistent surface and for dust suppression.

Served by the township sewer lines, the completed complex is expected to generate 134,000 gallons per day of sanitary wastewater.

The Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission, which approved the stock ownership transfer to Endeka last week, included conditions and timelines to be met. Among them were the sumbission of a schedule of Endeka’s plans and obtaining all zoning and other permits within 60 days.

Other conditions included financial commitment that at least $170 million is available for the project, the application for a casino license be filed with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board within 30 days and that a racing schedule plan and management agreement be in place.

No application for a casino license has yet been submitted, according to Doug Harbach of the gaming board.

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)

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