- Associated Press - Thursday, April 2, 2015

PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) - Pittsburg residents have raised concerns about a proposed state-owned casino.

The Joplin Globe (https://bit.ly/1I7xa8v ) reports that many residents have cited a potential increase in crime and traffic in the area as reasons for their opposition to a $62 million casino proposal. The 18,500-sqare-foot Kansas Crossing Casinowould would also include a 125-seat restaurant, two bars and a hotel.

Local residents voiced their concerns at a city Planning and Zoning Commission meeting in January and more recently online.

Carrie Teodore, a spokeswoman for the casino, said that crime would not increase with the introduction of a casino.

“Criminals don’t go into casinos,” Teodore said. “It’s the worst place for criminals because they’ll get caught.”

City officials say they can handle any increase in crime that could come with a casino. Voters approved a sales tax increase in 2013 to fund police and fire fighting efforts.

The city is backing the proposal and has annexed the development site.

Pittsburg State University geography professor, Tim Bailey, warned that a third of the land that is part of the casino proposal is in a designated flood zone. However, Bill Beasley, the director of public works for Pittsburg, said that the casino itself would not be in the flood zone.

The proposal for Kansas Crossing Casino will be heard by the Kansas Lottery Commission on April 15.


Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, https://www.joplinglobe.com

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