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Dane County Executive Falk Signs Resolutions Approving Voters' Referendum on DeJope

November 25, 2003
Sharyn Wisniewski, 267-8823
County Executive

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today signed a County Board Resolution authorizing a referendum question on the ballot February 17, 2004 that asks voters whether or not they want DeJope bingo hall on Madison’s southeast side to become a casino. The resolutions passed the Dane County Board at a special meeting Monday night (Nov. 24). “It is important that our citizens be heard on this issue,” said Falk. “I’m signing these resolutions today to ensure citizens in Dane County can vote yes or no.” The second resolution approves the 26-page Agreement negotiated between Falk and the Ho-Chunk Nation that assures Dane County receives a minimum of $3.5 million per year indefinitely if a casino opens. The county’s share has the potential to rise considerably, since the agreement calls for Dane County to receive either the base amount of $3.5 million or a percentage of the “net win,” rising from 3.5% in 2005 to 4.5% in 2009 and beyond. Falk has said her goals are to use the dollars for property tax relief and for human services for Dane County residents. The wording of the county-wide referendum question, to be on the ballot the same day as the Wisconsin Presidential Primary, is as follows: “Should the Ho-Chunk Nation’s DeJope facility in the City of Madison, Dane County, be allowed to offer casino-style gambling, if a portion of the revenues are paid to the City of Madison and Dane County?” The agreement also has provisions to help problem gamblers and to protect Indian burial mounds on county-owned lands, at the Ho-Chunk’s expense. “I look forward to a full and vital discussion of the costs and benefits of having a casino here in Dane County,” said Falk. Under the terms of the Indian gaming compact negotiated and signed by the Governor and the Ho-Chunk Nation in April, the Governor has the right to site a casino in Dane County with or without a referendum passing. Governor Doyle has said he will respect the wishes of citizens as expressed in the outcome of a referendum. Falk and Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz negotiated as partners in securing agreements that provide financial benefits to Dane County and the City of Madison should a casino open here. # # #
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