Expected casino revenue could increase Danville’s budget by more than $12 million

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 5:47 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Danville City Manager Ken Larking submitted a proposed budget to city council Tuesday night.

The newly-proposed budget includes an additional $12 million in anticipated revenue from the Caesars Virginia casino and no tax increase in real estate, lodging, and meals.

$4.1 million of that would go toward city personnel costs such as healthcare and salaries due to inflation.

Part of the other $8 million from the Caesars gaming tax revenue would go toward airport, parks, and utility renovations.

“When you have great parks and great neighborhoods, people want to live there,” said Larking. “That creates the workforce necessary to fill the jobs for the business as you’re trying to recruit. So, it all works together to make a growing community.”

The $8 million would also fund the continuation of the gang prevention program and pay for the new Police Department headquarters and equipment.

Danville Public Schools would receive a $2.5 million increase to the operational budget to provide additional positions such as three behavioral specialists and keep classroom sizes small.

“We want to make sure that our classroom sizes are small enough so that teachers can have a great relationship with their children. When teachers have a great relationship with the children in their classroom, then those children are more motivated to succeed,” added Larking.

The additional revenue brings the total proposed budget to $332.7 million - a $37 million or 13% increase from the current budget of $285.7 million.

Larking says the main theme for the budget is investing in Danville’s young people.

“Young people want to live in a great place. They want to have an opportunity for a great job. So, our goal is to make that as easy as possible for our young people so that they can stay in our community. I think that makes a lot of people happy because parents would love to have their kids come home after they graduate,” explained Larking.

The final adoption has to take place by June 30 and it will begin July 1.

They will hold public hearings prior to adopting a budget.