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Saturday February 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm

During this February 25th Dauphin County Gaming Advisory Board Presentation to the Dauphin County Commissioners, Commissioner George Hartwick praises the Advisory Board and its solicitor Mark Stewart for their work.

In accordance with the process of distributing Local Share Gaming Funds, the Advisory Board establishes a list of which municipalities and organizations should be granted funds and presents it to the Commissioners. A week later, on February 29, 2012, Dauphin County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve $8.2 million in 2011-2012 Restricted Local Share Gaming Grants to various entrants.

The 35 awardees engaged in a seven month process which included eligibility, interviews, and a waiting period before the Commissioners vote. Also during the February 29th legislative session, the Commissioners unanimously voted to allocate $145,000 in Unrestricted Gaming Funds to the Dauphin County Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

Per the PA law, unlike the Restricted Gaming Funds, there is no necessary process of application or justification for Unrestricted Funds. In September 2011, Dauphin County did establish an Unrestricted Gaming Fund policy, internal guidelines of the way casino money should be used. However, the $145,000 agenda line item read nothing more than "Department of Community & Economic Development: promotion of tourism and economic development - $145,000" with no more details and no discussion or explanation by the Commissioners before the vote to approve the allocation.

Via a series of Right-to-Knows, it was discovered that the $145,000 is being granted by DCED as follows:

Clark Resources--$35,000 to support "One on One with Fred Clark Talk Show" for 50 telecasts for March 2012 til February 2013.

HBG Young Professionals--$50,000 for renovation & upkeep of Market Square Plaza.

HBG City Islanders--$10,000 for promo support.

HBG Stampede/HBG Indoor Football: $50,000 for civic & community activities.

--Tara Leo Auchey/

Photo: Natalie Cake

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