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City's Gaming and Cell Phone Fund Sees Decline

Trails West and the new Krug Park gazebo are all funded using money city council saves for special community projects and events.

Posted: Oct. 9, 2017 6:10 PM
Updated: Oct. 19, 2017 10:42 AM


Trails West and the new Krug Park gazebo are all funded using money city council saves for special community projects and events.

The city collects funds through gaming fees at the St. Joe Frontier Casino, and also through cell phone fees.

City Council member Gary Roach said the money is distributed to local agencies to help fund supplemental items.

"Well it's the kind of the fund that we're able to take onetime items out of," Roach said. "Now, a lot of times a onetime item can be a repeat from a group."

Roach said the gaming and cell phone fund averages about $900,000 a year. However, the fund saw a slight decrease in 2017.

"I know it [gaming and cell phone fund] dwindles, and we don't have any control over it year to year," Roach said. "The cell phone money seems like it's been going down, and then as the attendance at the casino goes down so does our money that comes in."

The Parks and Recreation Department uses money from these funds every year to purchase new equipment, upgrade community parks and put on fun events.

Parks and Rec Assistant Director Jeff Atkins said the money they receive from these funds goes to helping the community.

"We've got a new playground coming in Bartlett Park next year. I believe some of the funds from that will be from either the cell phone or the gaming or a little of both," Atkins said.

The department gets a varied amount of money from the funds, but they've received amounts as high as $500,000.

The Allied Arts Council also applies for gaming and cell phone fund money each year, and usually gets $30,000.

Arts Council Executive Director Teresa Frankhauser said they use the money for their art fund.

"We approach the city, and they have been very supportive giving us money to help support the arts activities in St. Joe," Frankhauser said.

Roach said city council is expecting the gaming fund to see an increase in the 2018 fiscal year.


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