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Dauphin County expected to award $6.2M in gaming grants

Several notable projects recommended for funding, including Arooga's HQ

More than 60 projects in Dauphin County have been recommended to receive a share of county slot-machine revenue generated by Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.

However, county commissioners decided not to vote today on the recommendations, made by the Dauphin County Gaming Advisory Board. A vote was tabled until next week’s meeting.

Here are a few notable projects that were recommended for funding totaling $6.2 million:

  • $200,000: To help with the Union House Apartments redevelopment project in Lykens. It is an $11 million project in the northern Dauphin County borough.
  • $77,907: To help with the expansion of manufacturing and operations for Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar. The regional restaurant chain, which is expanding as a result of franchising growth, is renovating a building on South 19th Street in Swatara Township for a new headquarters. That project is expected to wrap up in March.
  • $100,000: To help with the Salvation Army Harrisburg’s new headquarters and services facility at South 29th Street and Rudy Road in Harrisburg.
  • $50,000: To help the Blackberry Technology Center in downtown Harrisburg. The center is hoping to offer space for tech-related spin-offs tied to nearby Harrisburg University of Science and Technology or other institutions of higher education.

This is the eighth year the county is awarding gaming grants. Hollywood Casino generated $215 million in gross terminal revenue last year, up slightly from 2014.

As a result, the county’s local share funds increased to nearly $13.1 million. Half of that total is given to fund local projects — much of it to municipalities to fund infrastructure and facilities improvements, as well as emergency services and public safety needs.

Over the past seven years, the local grants have attracted $263 million in additional funding and more than 4,000 permanent or construction jobs, county officials said.

This year’s grant money is expected to leverage $25.2 million in additional investment. The projects are expected to generate more than 1,800 jobs.

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