The Mahoning Township supervisors are as eager for Valley View Downs to break ground as its parent company Centaur.

Several Centaur officials Tuesday night outlined plans for the $429 million facility, dedicated to harness racing and gaming.

�Welcome,� Mahoning Township supervisor chairman Gary Pezzuolo told them. �Let�s get started.�

Supervisor Francis �Poncho� Exposito asked if all the necessary permits have been obtained by the Indiana-based company. Development director Rick Zeigler said most have, but a few remain outstanding.

Supervisors Pezzuolo, Exposito and Vito Yeropoli voted to accept � with conditions attached by the township engineer ��Valley View�s preliminary plan recommended by the township�s planning commission. Most of the conditions, the supervisors said, have been satisfied.

Brian Elmore, general manager of racing, provided an overview of that end of the business.

Elmore said he spent 30 years in the business as an owner, trainer, track official and in track management. Prior to joining Centaur and being appointed to Valley View, Elmore spent 14 years at Churchill Downs � the nation�s premier thoroughbred track.

Valley View�s one-mile oval track, with sweeping turns, is safer for horses and drivers, he noted.

�It will be a premier harness track and the first one-mile track dedicated to one breed of horse � the standard breed � and harness racing.�

Elmore said he is already getting calls from drivers and owners from all over the Midwest and as far as Florida.

�They want to bring their horses to run on this track,� he said.

In addition to the track length, Valley View will offer purses in excess of $30 million.

�We will have 130 racing days and estimate purses of $200,000 per day,� he said. �I am pleased to be part of this facility and the community will be proud to have it here.�

The facility also will feature four barns, each housing 100 horses, and a 50-bed dormitory for licensed drivers and track employees.

Joe DeRosa, general manager of Valley View�s casino operations, said the two-story 273,000-square-foot facility is essentially six acres under roof and will include a grandstand, five restaurants and a casino with 3,000 slot machines.

�It�s a Vegas-style property,� he said.

He also has about 30 years experience and formerly managed facilities in Atlantic City.

�We anticipate creating 1,000 permanent jobs and a $30 million annual payroll,� he said.

The 250-acre site on routes 422 and 551 and Baird Road, will include 4,200 paved parking spaces and 2,000 overflow spaces.

If all goes as expected, he said, additions will include a hotel, more parking and expanded casino space.

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