County commissioners displeased with racing commission - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

County commissioners displeased with racing commission

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Mahoning County commissioners are expressing great displeasure with the Ohio Racing Commission and it's handling of the license transfer for the Austintown racino project.

At the end of their weekly meeting, all three commissioners expressed concerns that politics may be involved and more delays imposed by the commission could put the multi-million dollar project in jeopardy.

"Why throw a monkey wrench into the projecy and delay, have money lost, and cost the valley opportunities for additional jobs?" asked David Ditzler, Mahoning County Commissioner, during the meeting. "It just reeks of politics."

Fellow commissioner Carol Rimedio-Righetti agreed with Ditzler.

"They've already spent $18 million to try to get that place ready, that ground read for this project so, to me, I can honestly tell you that it's political," Rimedio-Righetti said.

Speaking to 21 News, Mark Munroe with the Ohio Racing Commission, who was called out in the county meeting for being unknowledgeable about horse racing, rebutted the county commissioners' claims of politics.

"The concerns that have been raised have been raised, not just by me, but by people with the furtherment of horse in Ohio," he says. "Rather than complaining about me, the commissioners and the trustees should join with the racing commission to help Austintown get the best facility possible."

He says the racing commission includes experienced horsemen along with people concerned about public safety and economic development.

The Racing Commission has put another hold on the race track's approval pending the resolution of issues regarding the number of seats for racing fans at the site.

 

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