Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Billionaire Bluhm Meeting Mayor & County Exec

Neil Bluhm

I'm posting this by BlackBerry at 1:15 PM from outside the mayor's office.

Lead investor Neil Bluhm and proposed CEO Greg Carlin arrived at shortly after 12:30.

This courtesy call comes the day before the Gaming Control Board resumes its meeting in Harrisburg on Pittsburgh's casino license.

Mayor Ravenstahl and County Executive Onorato won't attend the hearing, because it conflicts with tomorrow's groundbreaking for the new arena.

As Onorato went in, he faced some questions about whether state taxpayers will be on the hook if the casino's share of payments toward financing the new arena were lost.

Here's a link to my report back in July, confirming that fact.

The Pittsburgh Channel story summarizes my report, and there should be a link to the video on that web page.

The bottom line from my report on July 25th: the governor's office confirmed to me last month that the state has a "backstop" agreement to lease the arena for $7.5 Million a year, if the casino's share of payments on the financing is not available.


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