In a letter to our Mayor, the Honorable Robert Standifer, the President of the Orange Park Kennel Club made known their desire to operate a poker room based on state law that went into effect July 1. Here is how the letter reads:
Dear Mayor Standifer:
I am writing on behalf of the Orange Park Kennel Club to request per state law that an agenda item be placed before the Orange Park Town Council.
On July 1, 2007 a law went into effect, which was passed during the 2007 session of the Florida Legislature, which provides for a pari-mutuel facility, located within a municipality, to petition the governing body of that municipaility, to have approved the operation of a card room via an authorizing resolution. The approval would also under this new statute entitle the municipality to receive 25% of the tax revenue generated from that card room.
Should the Town Council approve the agenda item and vote in favor of authorizing resolution, the result will be approximately 135 new jobs with an average annual pay of over $50,000 (excluding benefits and bonuses). As you know, our corporate offices are now located in our Orange Park facility and as this is our principal location we would like to offer at this location the full range of products that the legislature is making available to us. We will be holding job fairs in Clay County in regard to these 135 new positions, with the intent of filling as many of these as we can with residents of Clay County. The creation of the card room at this facility will not cause us to expand our facility or increase parking. We will renovate existing space and utilize our current infrastructure.
We would appreciate an agenda item where the Town Council would consider an authorizing resolution. We understand that there will be a process under which residents will be able to voice their support or concerns. Please let us know what that process is and the applicable dates.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.
The above is the complete, unabridged letter from the Kennel Club.
What is the big deal with this? If approved, our town will be home of what has become known as a "racino" or a casino with race track. The town and county has been dealing with this for some time, and now it looks like their backs are against the wall. Unless public support is shown, not only from residents of Orange Park, but of Clay County as a whole, the results will be a casino in our town.
We have an opportunity to let our voices be heard on two occasions the Mayor has set up.
Tuesday - August 28 at 7:30pm
Tuesday - September 4 at 7:30pm
These meetings will take place at the Orange Park Town Hall. If you go, and we encourage you to, and you speak, remember that you are speaking on behalf of your household. Be courteous. Be prayed up. Be bold.