RACINE COUNTY - Citing a report showing Kenosha and Racine counties lagging in construction jobs, several Kenosha- and Racine-area legislators again called on Gov. Scott Walker to approve the casino proposed for Kenosha.
“The 1,400 family-supporting jobs that this project would create, as well as the thousands of other direct and indirect jobs, would significantly enhance our local and state economies,” according to a joint statement issued Thursday by state Sens. Bob Wirch and John Lehman and state Reps. Cory Mason, Peter Barca, Tod Ohnstad, Samantha Kerkman and Thomas Weatherston.
“We can’t wait. Approve this project, and let’s get people working again.”
A report from the Associated General Contractors of America showed construction jobs in Kenosha County falling by 1 percent between November 2012 and November 2013, while Racine County remained stagnant at 0 percent. The report showed several other areas in the state making gains, with Eau Claire County leading the way with a 27 percent increase.
“This report confirms something that we already knew – we need jobs,” the group said. “Racine and Kenosha are hurting for jobs.”
The project, proposed by the Menominee Nation in partnership with Hard Rock, would create 1,400 construction jobs, 3,300 direct permanent jobs and 1,800 indirect jobs on the former Dairyland Greyhound Park site, legislators said in the news release.
Tribal leaders have promised Racine County officials that at least 15 percent of casino workers would be from Racine County.
The final decision rests with Walker after the project won federal approval last year. Walker, who has said the decision could be several months away, said the project must enjoy community support, result in no new net gaming and have the backing of all 11 of Wisconsin’s tribes.
The Potawatomi and Ho-Chunk tribes continue to oppose the project, saying it would result in significant job and revenue losses at their casinos.