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Lewiston Casino Initiative heads to Legislature

Secretary of State Charles Summers announced on February 4 that enough valid signatures have been submitted to place “An Act Regarding Establishing a Slot Machine Facility” before the Maine State Legislature.

“After an exhaustive review, we have determined that 59,095 signatures on the petition have been determined valid,” Summers said. “I know what a difficult task this was for the organizers to meet the required threshold and I commend them on their efforts. I also want to thank Deputy Secretary of State Julie Flynn and her dedicated staff for all of their hard work in ensuring that the integrity of the process was preserved and the statutory deadline for the determination was met.”

Great Falls Recreation and Redevelopment LLC is proposing the casino in Lewiston.

Stavros Mendros, former state legislator and former city councilor, is the spokesman for Great Falls Recreation and Redevelopment LLC. Investors include Ron Chicoine, chief of anesthesiology at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston, and Peter Robinson, a Lewiston lawyer. Other partners in Great Falls Recreation are Mendros’s mother, Florentia Mendros, anesthesiologist Tim Poutre and his wife Wendy Chicoine-Poutre of New Hampshire. She is the sister of Ron Chicoine.

Well-known local businessman Steve Roop, owner of the three Roopers beverage and convenience stores in L-A, has also joined the group as an investor.

Proponents of the casino were required to gather at least 57, 277 valid signatures, which is 10 percent of turnout in the previous gubernatorial election, by January 20, 2011 as provided for in the Maine Constitution. Of the 74,388 signatures submitted, 15,293 signatures were determined to be invalid. That still left a wide margin of approved signatures.

If the Legislature does not approve the measure, it will appear as a ballot question on the November 8, 2011 Referendum Election ballot, allowing Maine voters to determine its passage.

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